Rural road funds approved
by Franklin Clark -- fclark@cadizrecord.com
Apr 22, 2009 | 0 0 comments | 2 2 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Almost a million dollars of rural road improvements were approved, including maintenance and asphalt resurfacing, when the Trigg County Fiscal Court met Monday night at its usual location in the Trigg County Courthouse basement.

Approved improvements included basic maintenance of 123.6 miles, at $3,200 per mile, to a total of over $395,000, and some of Trigg County Judge Executive Stan Humphries’s official expenses were also included.

Almost 2 miles of KY 1585, also known as South Montgomery Road, from KY 272 to Smith Lane, about 4.6 miles of KY 778, also known as Will Jackson Road, fro KY 139 to Alexander Road, and about 2.8 miles of KY 274, also known as Rockcastle Road, from Parkview Shores Road to Goose Hollow Road, were approved for asphalt resurfacing.

The court unanimously approved an additional $18,000 in county funds to go toward the debris cleanup. The court had originally allotted $52,000, which is 13 percent of $400,000, for the task, but Humphries said on Monday evening that the $52,000 likely won’t be enough.

Humphries said at a February meeting that the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the state was originally going to reimburse 100 percent of the county’s expenses incurred from ice storm recovery, but soon thereafter it became apparent that the county would be out for 13 percent of those expenses.

The court also unanimously accepted a list of 37 roads into the county system to be maintained by the county. Some of the roads on the list, such as Fire Tower Road, Skinner Road and Donnie Lane, which are in the Linton community, were the subject of much discussion during two previous fiscal court meetings.

Residents of Linton, at previous meetings, have said that River Oak, a landowning company that is also involved in logging, had gates put up on some roads in their community that block access to their properties. Several of the residents also said the River Oak hasn’t given them keys to the locks on the gates.

A Linton resident was at the April 20 meeting to tell the court that not only were the gates still up, but that trenches were dug on McCoy Hollow Road, one of the roads that had been a point of contention, and that he thought River Oak was responsible.

Trigg County H.B. Quinn said that River Oak has sued the county, as well as several Linton residents, although in the county’s case it isn’t seeking any monetary damages but wants to maintain that the roads are private and are owned by River Oak.

Quinn said he had hoped that River Oak and the Linton residents could all “just play nice.”

Humphries has said that West Vaco originally put up the gates, and that the gates that went up were, at the time, going to be temporary, and were also going to build and maintain roads in the area to better transport logs. Humphries added it was his understanding that the gates were put up to keep out trespassers and to stop illegal dumping and littering.

The fiscal court also approved, on second reading, a budget amendment for the 2008/2009 budget. The amendment is to include a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant that will be used for the new Senior Center, which will be on Noel Road. The building is scheduled to be completed this year.

***

Although crews in Trigg County have cleared a large amount of debris from the ice storm that hit much of Kentucky in late January and early February, there is still much work to be done in the county.

Although the Trigg County Fiscal Court had originally allocated $52,000 to the task of debris cleanup, Humphries said that wouldn’t be enough, and asked for an extra $18,000 at the Monday, April 20, fiscal court meeting. The measure passed unanimously.

Keith Todd, a spokesman for the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, said 115,367 cubic yards of storm debris have been picked up in Trigg County so far. By comparison, the state has picked up 1.8 million cubic yards of debris in the 12 counties in District One, said Todd.

“The average full-sized pickup truck hauls 2.2 cubic yards when filled to the top of the bed railings,” Todd said. “I’ll let you do the math.”

Statewide, the state is extending debris removal contracts on a month-by-month basis until the work is done, and although crews in a few counties are completing their final runs, many counties still have much debris to clear, said Todd.

Crews in counties that have been cleared of debris are expected to be moved into counties that haven’t been, in order to finish the job more quickly, added Todd.

The transportation cabinet hasn’t estimated any completion dates for debris cleanup because of the variables involved, including weather, debris density and population density, which vary from county to county, according to Todd.

“I asked [a supervisor] how it was going. We started talking about when the debris cleanup might be complete. He said, ‘When someone asks me about a completion date I say ‘July 4, you pick the year,’’” Todd said. “I’m not that pessimistic.”

After the cleanup crews do make their final passes, property owners will be responsible for their own storm debris removal, and until that time, motorists are urged to take precautions on roads were debris collection crews are working, Todd said.

All debris cleanup crews took what Todd said was a much-needed break on Easter Sunday as well as the Saturday before, April 11 – 12.
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