County works to replace failed air unit at jail


The fiscal court held a special called meeting last week to purchase an air conditioning unit for the jail but it appears the jail will remain with only one of two units in operation for a major part of the summer.

The court solicited bids to either make repairs to a current unit or to replace the 30-ton unit after learning that one of two units was not working properly.

Last Thursday, the court opened bids and accepted a low bid from Alpha Mechanical Services for $28,632 for a Carrier unit.

County Judge Executive Gale Cowan said the company hopes to have the product installed in six to eight weeks, but units of that size are not built until they are ordered. There is no guarantee when the unit will be ready, given the current difficulty of finding some products on the market.

Meanwhile, the county has purchased two portable coolers, has placed box fans in every jail cell, has added large shop fans in the hallways, and has taken other measures to keep the jail as cool as possible. Ice water is being made available in every cell, Cowan said.

The fiscal court held the special called meeting last week and met again Tuesday for a regularly scheduled meeting.

During both meetings, the need for summer employees on the road department was discussed. The county has tried to hire four different people but none of them accepted the position.

Road crew gets extra hours

At Tuesday’s meeting, magistrate Billy Coffey said he is concerned because the road crew is behind on boom mowing. He made a motion to allow the road department employees who do boom mowing to work 10 hours a day, five days a week. The motion was approved.

Coffey also brought up road department money for blacktopping and magistrate Daryl Flatt said they currently have $900,000 in the road fund, with more coming from the state in July or August. Flatt made a motion to allow each magistrate to use $60,000 in their district for roadwork. The motion was approved.

Judge Cowan urged magistrates to get their road requests into Gaddie Shamrock as soon as possible for the projects to get started.

Also during Tuesday’s meeting, the court voted to rescind an earlier vote to cancel a contract with Cintas Uniforms. Cowan said they learned it would cost the county more than $15,000 to end the contract early, but they were able to negotiate and cut their cost in half.

A rental agreement for use of the annex basement was approved that would require someone who does not leave the facility clean to pay a $100 cleaning fee.

Cat ordinance discussed

The court discussed what has been dubbed a “cat ordinance,” which has been brought up at several meetings after an apparent issue with cats being fed at a house in a subdivision that is often left unattended.

At the request of the court, County Attorney Jennifer Hutchison Corbin compiled two draft ordinances. One option includes more restrictions, including specifications for the size of kennels, and includes a penalty section.

Flatt first made a motion to accept the stricter ordinance. Magistrate Terry Hadley said the drafts were not in his box prior to the meeting and he had not read them, so any possible action was postponed.

The court approved a $10.6 million budget for the 2021-22 fiscal year, which includes more than $3.7 million in federal relief funds. The budget allocates $1.65 million in the general fund, $2.6 million in the road fund, $1.8 million in the jail fund, $504,700 for 911 dispatch, $50,500 from alcohol revenue, $49,700 for parks and recreation, $3.7 million for administration, and $98,200 for the animal shelter.

Transfer station move takes another step

The court will advertise its plans to move a garbage transfer station from its current location on L Willis road. The county signed a 10-year lease for the property at $12,000 a year for the first five years and $15,000 for the remaining years.

While there are several more years left in the lease, the county is taking steps to see if it would be feasible to move the transfer station to land the county owns near Campbellsville Road. Publicizing plans to relocate the transfer station is the next step required in the project.

The court voted to move meetings back to the annex effective in July. All magistrates were in attendance for both the special called and the regular meeting.

By Sharon Burton

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