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Fiscal court looking for ambulance services

SALYERSVILLE – The Magoffin County Fiscal Court met in regular session Tuesday, November 16, discussing park updates, road resurfacing and the next step in securing better ambulance services for the county.

During departmental reports, Magoffin County Deputy Judge Kevin Howard updated the court on Bloomington Park, where they now have water and electric and are working to install Foothills services for Wi-Fi, with the next step to install the security cameras.

Similarly, he said Wi-Fi is already installed at the Battlefield Park, but they will be extending the reach when they install the security cameras there, as well.

Under bridge replacements, Howard said they have completed the installation of the Charles Bailey Road box culvert, and they are now working on the Jerry Rice Lane culvert. He said a box culvert for Birch Branch has been ordered, but the order has been delayed due to the company having problems getting materials. The plans for the Marion Hale box culvert have been approved and that will be the next one to be ordered.

The county should receive the road signs for the Elk Creek/Lick Creek area by the first week of December.

At the county garage, Howard said they have security cameras installed.

Howard also said they have scheduled a veteran’s ceremony for this Friday for Frank Profitt at 11 a.m. on Kentucky Street, in Dixie.

Road resurfacing has been completed on Sandbottom, but they are still waiting for a completion date from Hinkle for the rest of the roads scheduled to be resurfaced this year.

Magistrate Pernell “Buck” Lemaster asked if there were any way to add to the veterans memorial at Ramey Memorial Park, noting other counties having canons and tanks, but Magoffin County Judge/Executive Matt Wireman, who is also a member of the DAV, said they are looking at adding lighting, flags for every branch of the armed forces, a chain-link fence and brick columns to the memorial, which are in the design process with the engineers. Wireman said he hopes to have those designs, along with other plans for parks in the county up for consideration at the December fiscal court meeting.

Wireman said they are also having a bookcase fabricated by the Kentucky Correctional Institute to honor Albert Patrick on one side and veterans who have been killed in action, to be installed downstairs at the courthouse, which is already named after Patrick.

Under new business, the court approved a resolution honoring Staff Sergeant Sammie Slusher, who was a World War II war hero. Slusher was instrumental in several battle, contributing to the capture of enemy forces before being killed in battle. The resolution also names Buffalo Road, located off KY Rt. 2019, to be forever known as Staff Sergeant Sammie Slusher Memorial Road.

Wireman also noted that these road dedications are only memorializing the roads with honorary names to remember the heroes who came from Magoffin County and do not change any 911 addresses.

The court also approved an agreement and resolution with the Commonwealth of Kentucky’s Transportation Cabinet for resurfacing Jake Risner Fork Road and Kel Patton Road through the governor’s discretionary funds in the sum of $148,089. Wireman explained that they have submitted around 18 different roads this year for these funds to the Transportation Cabinet, which then has to send someone to assess if it meets the criteria of being a level 10, or in the worst shape possible, then approve which roads will be funded for resurfacing. Wireman explained the funds are only for resurfacing, so the roads must be blacktopped to be considered. He said these are the two roads the state agreed to fund, and he hopes the resurfacing will be scheduled for next spring.

Wireman also explained that the contract for the current emergency alert service will be up in February and with the price being double what he could find elsewhere and the service not working well here, he proposed an agreement, with the court approved, with Rave Mobile Safety for the services. He said other counties are using Rave for these services, which are half the cost of the current contract.

The court approved to advertise a request for proposals for ambulance services in Magoffin County. Wireman explained that building an ambulance service from scratch would be difficult since ambulances that do not require CDLs or extended training are hard to find currently. Wireman said he has already had four ambulance services interested, so he’s hopeful that privatizing it, but having that company work under the county’s certificate of need, will allow the county to have some control over how the service is ran in Magoffin. He said they will have the bids by the December meeting and they may hold a special meeting to discuss the services provided in each bid before they award a contract.

“We fought and fought for this CON and I want to do this right,” Wireman said, explaining that he wants to make sure they choose the most economically feasible for the county, while providing better services for its citizens.

They also approved the agreement with ABCO Security for Bloomington Park and Battlefield Park, which will be for the security cameras. Wireman explained they will have Wi-Fi available for people to use in those communities. He said he hopes the cameras will curtail some of the drug use in the parks.

Per the petition signed by landowners along Dyer Road, the court agreed to approve closing the road.

Under communications, Wireman asked the court to approve advertising for request for proposals for two police vehicles.

He explained that the sheriff’s department had turned over the excess fees last month and requested help paying for some new vehicles, but the cost of two cruisers at $20,000 each exceeds the $30,000 small purchase limit (set by law). The court approved and the bids should be available for next month’s meeting.

Wireman also explained that he has an engineer service that is doing some design work at Ramey Memorial Park, looking at the current concession stand and restrooms for remodeling, getting a quote for lighting services for the ball fields, use the area of two of the tennis courts for a shelter, then resurface the two other courts, as well as the basketball court, building a batting cage, adding more ADA compliant playground equipment and accessibility, and renovating the pool area. He explained that this is just the design phase, but they have some coal severance funding that had been set aside for the industrial park that was now covered by other funding, so he hopes they’ll be able to make some needed upgrades at the park.

He said they have the playground equipment for the Half Mountain Battlefield Park, but between the weather and quarantined employees, they haven’t had a chance to install it, yet.

The court also approved the fund transfer of $55,000 from the general fund to the jail fund.

Bob Shurtleff, with Kentucky Power, soon to be Liberty, was in attendance to update the court on the transition, noting they are just at the beginning of the process, but noted Liberty has significant experience in running a utility. He said all of AEP’s services in Kentucky will be transferring to Liberty, but explained it is a slow process evaluating the entire system and getting approvals to proceed.

The next regularly scheduled Magoffin County Fiscal Court meeting is tentatively slated for December 21 at 6 p.m. at the Magoffin County Courthouse Albert Patrick Building.

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