Alcohol Revenue Will Fund more Deputies
By Eugenia Jones
McCreary County Sheriff Randy Waters addressed members of the McCreary County Fiscal Court during the October 8 regular meeting and reminded them of the need to hire additional deputies with the revenue collected from McCreary County’s legal sale of alcoholic beverages. Waters said extra deputies will help law enforcement target and add additional patrol to high traffic areas associated with DUIs, public intoxication, and violent crimes. Waters noted his department has logged 16 alcohol related DUIs since local alcohol sales began in February. In comparison, the Sheriff’s Department logged 8 alcohol related DUIs last year. Waters said extra deputies will help law enforcement target underage drinking and added his office plans to have information available at special events and festivals warning underage children about the harmful effects of drinking. Currently, the Sheriff has three full-time and two part-time deputies. His immediate goal is to have five full-time, paid deputies. McCreary County Judge Executive Jimmie “Bevo” Greene responded by telling Waters he is proud of the job the Sheriff’s Department is doing throughout the county. Greene assured Waters all county revenue gained from alcohol sales must legally go to support the Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC) office (approximately $35,000) and law enforcement. Magistrate Roger Phillips noted the county has almost collected enough money from alcohol taxes and fees to hire an additional deputy. Phillips said he would like to see five deputies working for the Sheriff’s Department.
In other business, the Fiscal Court voted to make changes to the Speed Hump Policy & Procedure. Stating there have been disputes over signatures on petitions requesting speed humps in neighborhoods as submitted to Fiscal Court, Deputy Judge Executive Nathan Nevels requested residents be required to sign speed hump petitions at the Courthouse so the signatures can be witnessed. Magistrates agreed and voted unanimously to require petitions be held open to sign at the Courthouse for a period of thirty days. Additionally, the Court agreed to increase the percentage of neighborhood signatures required to remove a speed hump from 75% of residents to 80%. Since several groups have requested their speed humps be removed after just a few months, Magistrate Phillips pointed out the hefty cost associated with removal of speed humps and advised residents to be certain they really want speed humps before having them installed. While there are good reasons for speed humps, Phillips also noted there are drawbacks to their presence including delay in the arrival of first responders (ambulance, fire, etc.) during an emergency. He also noted funds spent by the County removing speed humps can be better spent improving roads throughout the county.
The Fiscal Court also acted on the following:
• Approved online auction surplus sales and road aid money. -Approved first reading of a grant for ambulance service training. -Approved revisal of McCreary County Airport Advisory Board from six to eight members. Approved appointment of Eric Vanselow to the Airport Advisory Board. • Approved a new business county loan, pending approval of the IDA Loan Committee. • Approved re-appointments of Raymond Taylor and Dwight “Doug” Sexton to the McCreary County Water District Board of Directors.
• Installation of speed hump on Valley Road.
Judge Greene provided updates from his office and department heads including the following:
• Total rental income for the McCreary County Park and Sand Hill RV Camp for September totaled $2,515.00.
• Trick or Treat will be observed on Saturday, October 31 from 5:00-8:00 PM. The Health Department recommends following the Governor’s and State Health’s guidance at Kentucky.gov. (See an accompanying article in this week’s edition of “The Voice.”)
• A significant amount of road work is being accomplished, some in conjunction with Hinkle Environmental with funds from FEMA. Steel work is being completed at Corder Flats. Hinkle has completed their paving work in the county, and Miller should finish in about two weeks. The remainder of roads to be paved will be scheduled when FLEX funding is released.
• Judge Greene reminded voters about early voting. Early voting began earlier this week at the Courthouse.
• McCreary County had just gotten out of the COVID-19 Red Zone when Fiscal Court met. Greene said officials are still taking precautions. The Courthouse and Sheriff’s Office were to be disinfected earlier this week (Monday) by an outside cleaning company.
• The first annual Trail Ride/Horse Event at the Sand Hill RV Camp is still planned for later this month, October 22-25.
The McCreary County Fiscal Court meets monthly on the second Thursday of the month at 6:00 PM at the McCreary County Courthouse.