Tebbs Bend bridge to be moved

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By Calen McKinney


The Tebbs Bend bridge will be moved and preserved, likely sometime next year.

Funding for a new bridge isn't firm yet, however, and it isn't known who will move the bridge.

At last Tuesday's regular Taylor County Fiscal Court meeting, Taylor County Judge/Executive Eddie Rogers announced the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation has given the county permission to move the bridge to the nearby Tebbs Bend-Green River Nature Area.

On Friday, Rogers said he expects the bridge to be moved late this year or sometime next year. He said the cost to move the bridge, which is unknown at the time, will be paid for by the state's Department of Transportation and another one will be built.

Local historian Betty Jane Gorin Smith said the old iron bridge was built in 1907 after the original one was burned. Without a bridge there, she said, that would cause a great inconvenience to farmers and other travelers.

Gorin Smith said the bridge will be moved to over a ravine so people can still walk over it. The old plank flooring will be kept, she said, so people can hear the noise created when residents drive over it.

Gorin Smith said the new bridge will resemble the old bridge as much as possible. A bridge with a plank floor wasn't approved, she said, so it will have a concrete floor with a California style railing so water can be seen as people pass over the river in vehicles.

"The old iron bridge has a 3-ton weight limit. The new bridge will be strong enough to handle a big tourist bus," she said. "This will be very helpful to the number of tourists that travel the Tebbs Bend Battlefield Trail."

As it is now, she said, buses have to turn around before the bridge and tourists must walk across to reach sites beyond it. She said that might have deterred some from touring the area.

Also at the Meeting:

• Those who adopt animals at the Taylor County Animal Shelter already spayed or neutered will no longer have to pay the full $100 adoption fee. Magistrates agreed to set that adoption rate at $25.

A decision as to whether the adoption fee for cats will stay at $100 hasn't yet been made. Magistrate Matt Pendleton said officials have told him not many people are willing to pay that cost for a stray cat.

Pendleton said the county's New Projects and Special Services Committee will meet again soon and discuss that issue.

A pull fee for animal rescue groups was set at $7.50 per animal and magistrates approved the hire of Yuelta Mattingly as an animal control officer at the shelter. She will be a full-time temporary employee earning $9.50 an hour. The Kentucky Works program will pay 75 percent of Mattingly's wages for the first four months and then 50 percent for the following two months.

• The contract with Waste Connections Inc. to provide garbage pickup service outside Taylor County's city limits was extended for five more years.

The contract began in 2008 and included a five-year renewal clause. District manager Dave Wiggins said when the contract was bid, his company's quotes were much lower than the next lowest bid.

Rogers said the company has worked with the community by offering vouchers to drop off unwanted items for $15.

Magistrate John Gaines said he would like to see the company offer a door-to-door recycling program, which Wiggins said the company is researching.

He said the company will also consider offering a discount for those participating in such a program, should it begin, and, at Magistrate Richard Phillips' request, offering more of a reduced rate to senior residents.

• Rogers announced the county received no bids in response to its request for an energy performance audit proposal for the Taylor County Courthouse. As such, he said, the county will move forward with Perfection Group on the project.

• Election officers will soon be paid more for their work. Magistrates agreed to give officers a raise, from $100 to $120, for a day's work during elections. Rogers said the highest pay in the area is $150 per day. At $100, he said, Taylor County was one of the lowest paying counties.

For more from the meeting, see Thursday’s issue.