Flooding discussed at Fiscal Court meeting
by Franklin Clark, Reporter -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
May 05, 2010 | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Lake Barkley is currently sitting at about 364 feet above sea level, about five feet higher than normal, and it’s possible that it could go as high as 368 feet or higher due to this past weekend’s flash flooding in middle Tennessee and Kentucky.

That is what Trigg County Judge-Executive Stan Humphries said at a Trigg County Fiscal Court meeting Monday evening.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has said that it is operating dams along the Cumberland River, including Barkley Dam, in order to reduce lake levels. At Barkley Dam, the plan as of late Monday was to have water discharges go to a total of 300,000 cubic feet per second, which Allison Jarrett of the Army Corps of Engineers said is “the largest release in the history of the project.”

Humphries said that a state of emergency could be declared in Kentucky because of the flooding, and added that a state of emergency would make it easier for the city and county to have their repair and rebuilding costs reimbursed.

“We feel very fortunate that we did not receive the brunt of the rain that our neighbors to the south, Clarksville and Nashville, did,” said Humphries.

Several roads in the county were closed due to flooding, and a bridge on Adams Mill Road about a quarter of a mile from Ky. 139 is impassible and will need to be repaired, Humphries said. He also said that work could start as early as this week and that it shouldn’t cost much more than $15,000.

The fiscal court also unanimously approved a first reading of its FY 2010/2011 budget. The grand total for the entire proposed budget is $5,270,434. The general fund is at $2,890,104, the road fund is at $1,280,100, the jail fund is at $465,823, the Trigg County Sheriff’s Department fund is at $599,407 and the Local Government Economic Assistance (LGEA) fund is at $35,000.

“After the first reading tonight, (the budget) will be sent to Frankfort … to make sure we have everything categorized properly,” Humphries said.

Both Humphries and Trigg County Treasurer Lucy Oliver said the budget doesn’t represent a large change from the current fiscal year’s budget. Humphries noted that the proposed budget is 2 percent higher than the current $5.1 million budget, and added that part of that increase is additional materials for the road department.

After an audience member asked Humphries about a tax increase, Humphries said he doesn’t know yet if there will be an increase, as the budget has to go to Frankfort to get their approval.

In other business, the fiscal court unanimously authorized Humphries to speak with Chris Sutton at the Pennyrile Allied Development District (PADD) office in Hopkinsville about a plan that Linda Humbert of Ramblin’ Rose Ranch, who is also running against Humphries for judge executive, spoke of at the meeting.

Humbert talked about what she called a Business Incubation Project. With the Trigg County Senior Citizens Center moving to a new location in less than two months, the current building could be purchased with Federal Grant Funding and could be renovated and repaired, and additions could be made to the building, Humbert said.

The object is to provide low or no cost space to 15 or more small businesses in order to help the county’s tourism industry, and to create as many as 100 jobs, said Humbert, who added that she thinks the building could be valued at roughly $480,000.

“We think it will have a great benefit to the county,” Humbert said. “This particular one is geared toward increasing the tourism industry here in Trigg County.”

About $3 million in Federal Grant Funding is available through the National EDC Division of the Department of Commerce, $2 million of which could be used to buy and renovate the building, and $1 million of which could be used over a three-year period for utilities and other recurring expenses, Humbert said.

Trigg County Magistrates like Jon Goodwin liked the idea. Humphries also liked the idea but said he wanted a third party to look at it before the county applies for the grant.

The fiscal court also unanimously approved Geotech Engineering Services for the replacement of a bridge on Riley Hollow Road. The county will pay for 20 percent of the project, with the remaining 80 percent coming through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said Humphries, who also said that while an exact cost is unavailable, the county could end up paying $30,000.

In other business, the court approved a quit claim deed, annual standing orders and the monthly bills. Notable bills include $10,084 grant that will go toward an ambulance, $5,933 to Rogers Group for rock for the road department, $1,209 to Hancock’s for supplies for the concession stand at the Trigg County Recreation Complex.

The next fiscal court meeting will be held at 6 p.m. on Monday, May 17, at the courthouse annex. The issue of alcohol at golf courses will be discussed.
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