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Road resurfacing and bridge replacements to start soon


SALYERSVILLE – The Magoffin County Fiscal Court met virtually for their regular monthly meeting on Tuesday, discussing ongoing progress and important information amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

In the May 19 meeting the fiscal court approved fund transfers of $15,000 from the general fund to the jail fund and $425 from the general fund to the forestry fund. 

Magoffin County Judge-Executive Matt Wireman and District 2 Magistrate Pernell “Buck” Lemaster both noted that was the lowest fund transfer for the jail fund they have ever seen, which in recent years is often double this month’s amount. Wireman explained the total was lower due to the temporary contract they have allowing non-violent offenders awaiting trial to be held on house arrest with an ankle bracelet, costing the county $10 to $12 a day vs. $22 a day when the inmates are housed at the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center. He said they will be looking at acquiring an annual contract to continue the services.

Deputy Judge Kevin Howard updated the court on the 911 move to the courthouse, noting that the antennas have been installed on the courthouse, they have ordered a generator, and the internet and CAD system have been installed. He said the furniture has been ordered and is set to be delivered next week, and the equipment will be installed in June. 

Howard also said they have ordered 247 more county road signs and the community center gym floor is being painted this week. They have ordered box culverts to replace bridges on Bee Tree, Will Bailey Branch and Frank Williams Road, which should come in by June 3 and be installed shortly after that.

The footers have been poured and construction is underway for the Battlefield Park bathrooms. 

They are scheduling county road resurfacing in June for the following roads: Short Fork, Caudill Hollow Road, Left Fork of Johnson, Lowell Wheeler Road, Long Creek Road, Meredith Branch Road and Williams Fork Road. 

The fiscal court approved contract bids for the vendors who agreed to keep their rates the same, including Hinkle for stone, Action Petroleum for gas and fuel, J&H Wholesale for oil and lubricants, Hinkle for asphalt, and Hudson for road oil.

They also approved to advertise for bids for a 6,000-gallon automated emulsion storage system and installation, which will allow for the county to store oil for the machine they are getting that will repair potholes and chip seal roads, making them eligible for flex funding. 

The court agreed to renew the county’s health insurance policy, which has a 9% increase, estimated at $31,000 more annually to keep the same coverage.

As they have been doing since Wireman took office last year, the court approved to amend the administrative code to add a section on the continuity of government, basically paralleling the Kentucky Revised Statutes and keeping them from having to pass a resolution each year for the same thing.

Similarly, they updated the Code of Ethics, which had been written in 1995, but despite there being eight amendments to the state statutes, had never been revised. Wireman said the changes reflect the updates made to the Kentucky Revised Statutes and was mostly just language changes.

The court accepted the Magoffin County Extension Office’s budget.

Wireman reminded the court that government offices and retail businesses are starting to open this week, noting they will continue to take every precaution to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus. 

Currently, Magoffin County has one case, a 60-year-old male, which was reported on Friday and the individual is still hospitalized.

He said that while retail is opening this week at limited capacity and under the same restrictions as essential businesses that have stayed open during the closure, it is up to the people whether this area has an outbreak or eradicates the virus, asking everyone to wear their masks in public, continue to social distance and continue proper hand washing and sanitizing.

Wireman also noted that the Magoffin County Courthouse will remain closed to the public until July 1, allowing the county clerk’s office to handle the Primary Election and the PVA to undergo a review without the general public coming in and out of the building.

He said they will be ordering cold patch to work on potholes throughout the county and he’s looking at acquiring quotes for a grader for gravel roads. Wireman said their current grader spends one day working on the road, then four days in the shop getting repairs.

Wireman said they will try to hold an in-person meeting next month, explaining that they need to meet in closed session on some pending litigations. 

He also reminded the public to fill out their census, noting that Magoffin is at 35.5% and of the surrounding counties, is second to last out of six counties in regards to census participation.

“We’ve got to get this number up,” Wireman said. “Right now, with all of this CARES money coming out, and there will be more, we’ve got to have everyone counted.”

He explained that federal funding will be allocated based on census statistics.

“We have to make sure we get our fair share,” Wireman said.

County Attorney Greg Allen noted to the court that the justice center will be opening soon, which will alleviate the family court cases that are piling up. He said they are in the planning stages, noting that it will be a big ordeal, but that it needs to happen.

The next regularly scheduled meeting is tentatively slated for June 16 at 6 p.m.


Heather Oney

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