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April is Child Abuse Prevention Month; 911 dispatchers honored during fiscal court meeting

Photo from Magoffin County Fiscal Court

SALYERSVILLE – The Magoffin County Fiscal Court met in regular session on Tuesday, April 16, discussing local roads and parks.

The court approved the following fund transfers from the general fund: $50,000 to the jail fund, and $25,000 to the LGEA fund.

Under department reports, Magoffin County Deputy Judge Kevin Howard updated the court on ongoing projects, stating that they’ve just installed rollup security doors on the scoreboard buildings at Ramey Memorial Park, to secure those areas, with Judge/Executive Matthew Wireman explaining the doors have 145 MPH wind resistance and noting that they have had chronic issues with the scoreboard equipment and building being vandalized and people living in the buildings. He said with kids playing ball over there now, so they’ve invested in this type of security doors to eliminate those types of problems in those areas of the park.

At Bloomington Park, the new basketball court will be constructed when the weather allows for pouring concrete. At the horse park, Howard said the fence company called him and wanted to try to attempt to finish with the fence before the first show, but they are behind due to the weather, but they will be there to paint the fence and the railing as soon as the weather permits.

At the courthouse, Howard said the floors have been stripped and waxed upstairs and downstairs. Outside windows were cleaned last weekend and inside will be cleaned later this week, then they’ll clean the outside windows at the Justice Center, also this week.

A veterans memorial road ceremony honoring Private Arthur Lykins on May 11, 2024, at 1 p.m. on Cow Creek at the mouth of Cherry Orchard Road.

At the Magoffin County Horse Park, the first show of the season is scheduled for Saturday, April 20, for the Ivyton Church.

Regarding Hinkle blacktopping operations, Howard said surfacing operations have been completed on Bull Creek, and surfacing will be completed on Merritt Branch this week. He said they have a couple of FEMA patches to do on Puncheon before they go down to Walter Wireman Road, and they will be resurfacing it.

Howard said he has met with the Lexington Parks Department, and they gave him three contractors who could possibly install pickleball courts, and he plans to get quotes from them. Judge Wireman said pickleball seems to be a growing trend right now and there’s demand for more courts in Pike County where they have them.

Judge Wireman also updated the court on Ramey Memorial Park, noting they are in the process of acquiring more property and will be putting in a new playground out of the flood area. He explained he knows it’s taking a lot of time, but they will be adding a premier playground, all inclusive and most updated for the community. He said they will be adding inclusive playground equipment at Bloomington and Half Mountain parks, as well.

Under new business, the court received the Magoffin County Extension District Board’s budget for the next fiscal year.

They approved a resolution recognizing Magoffin County 911 dispatchers during National Public Safety Telecommunicators Week, April 14 – 20, 2024. Judge Wireman noted that Magoffin has a top-of-the-line dispatch center and staff, and they will have one dispatcher graduating the program on Friday, meaning a new staff member will be added soon. He explained the process to become a dispatcher is lengthy, with numerous tests and training required. He also reminded the public that there are still openings with the dispatch center, so they are still accepting applications.

“We do appreciate our dispatchers,” Wireman said. “Without them, we couldn’t get folks out to protect and serve.”

The court authorized advertising for bids for bulk diesel fuel and gasoline; motor oil and grease; culvert, tile, and pipes; gravel and rock; blacktop/asphalt; cold patch and chip seal oil; gravel and other road material hauling services; and structural rail. That advertisement is running in this issue of the Salyersville Independent and can be found on page B5.

The fiscal court approved a memorandum of understanding with Mountain Comprehensive Care Center, Inc., to make an application to the U.S. Department of Justice on Violence Against Women for the fiscal year 2024 grants to improve the criminal justice program and solicitation.

They approved a resolution authorizing Judge Wireman to make an application for and execute any documents deemed necessary by Kentucky Office of Homeland Security and be the authorized correspondent, with Wireman explaining they are applying for funding for a new digital radio system. He said they are trying to switch from the analog system to digital, which is required by law to happen in the near future, and their grant writer found this potential funding source, with the resolution being the first step in applying for the funds.

The court approved the annual salary and job description for the Magoffin County jailer and deputy jailer. Wireman said they had initially been told they could only pass salaries during an election year, but this does not apply to the jailer. He said they went to a financial budgeting meeting, which recommended that fiscal courts approve the duties and salary annually.

They also approved the salary schedule for the fiscal court staff for the 2025 fiscal year, something that has to be done before they can start determining the budget next month. Judge Wireman said they added additional amounts to the salaried employees and all hourly employees will get a $1-on-the-hour raise.

Judge Wireman said he met with the Kentucky Transportation Department District 10, and the fiscal court has to approve their 2024-2025 Rural Secondary Recommendations. He said it includes resurfacing KY 867 (Guncreek Road from Ivyton on Rt. 1888 to Curtis Cole Road), entire length of Mash Fork (Rt. 2020, connecting Rt. 40 to Rt. 460), Bear Branch, and get caught up on the routes approved and allocated last year.

The court received a report from Bocook Engineering on the old library located at 100 S. Church Street. The engineer stated that they do not believe the building is salvageable and it would be more economical and safer to demolish the structure. Judge Wireman said the next step for them is to bid out for proposals to have the building demolished, but also noted that’s not something they have to do immediately. As for what the space could be used for, he said the additional parking downtown would be a great thing, but they are open to other ideas.

The fiscal court approved a resolution for the County Road System, updating the system for changes that have been made more recently for the state transportation district.

Wireman also recognized that April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, asking that everyone read the resolution he signed and support the programs that help these children, as well as always report any suspected child abuse.

Regina Jones with Senator Rand Paul’s office also addressed the court about some new guidance for the U.S. Postal Service, with certain areas in Eastern Kentucky already seeing some communities not receiving mail with the new rules. She said the mail carriers cannot drive on roads not fully paved and must be two-lane roads. She said she doesn’t have any counties in the region that can afford to pave every single dirt or gravel road, let alone widen every road to a two-lane. She said they are fighting with the postal service, and they will be having a committee hearing to address these issues, asking the public to reach out to their legislators and make sure they know people in these areas cannot survive this change.

Judge Wireman said he has already been in meetings about this, noting that many of the problems have been backed off locally, but he foresees more issues with it. He said putting community boxes on Rt. 7, which is a speed limit 55 MPH road, would cause more safety issues, let alone make it less accessible to many postal customers in the county.

The next scheduled Magoffin County Fiscal Court meeting is tentatively slated for May 20 at 5 p.m. at the Magoffin County Courthouse Albert Patrick Building.

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