looking at reward program
By Eugenia Jones
McCreary County Fiscal Court is aggressively going after illegal littering and dumping, and in the near future, may even offer a financial reward to anyone who provides information leading to the arrest and conviction of any person, firm, or corporation violating the criminal littering statutes in McCreary County. This includes littering from vehicles, illegally dumping trash, etc.
County Attorney Austin Price approached McCreary County Judge Executive Jimmie “Bevo” Greene with the idea of a reward program after learning Kentucky statute (KRS 433.753) allows counties to develop a reward program; however, Fiscal Court must first pass a county ordinance.
Price spoke during the Fiscal Court’s regular monthly meeting last week (April 8, 2021) and noted the large number of school children who are assertively picking up trash along roadsides in an effort to beautify the county.
“If kids are working this hard to pick up trash that was probably thrown out by adults, we need to help solve the problem,” Price declared.
Price also stated the county is actively prosecuting those cited for illegal littering/dumping.
“If you are cited and are guilty, you can plead guilty or go to a jury trial,” Price said. “I don’t think you’ll find a lot of sympathy with a jury when we’ve got children and adults out volunteering to pick up trash. “
In other business during the meeting, the Fiscal Court approved a resolution allowing EMS Director Jimmy Barnett to apply for a Kentucky Office of Homeland Security (KOHS) Grant to replace the ambulance service’s LUCAS chest compression devices. The Court also awarded the bid for a new ambulance to low bidder, ETA, for $97,700. Last month, the ambulance service brought in its largest amount of revenue with $181,000 for the month.
In other actions, the Fiscal Court:
-Approved the hires and transfers of employees in EMS and Litter Abatement departments.
-Approved the yearly County Road Aid Cooperative Program & Resolution with Transportation Cabinet for 2021-2022 for $1,253,800,53.
-Received Transportation Cabinet presentation (via email) of the 2021-2022 Rural Secondary recommendations for McCreary County. The McCreary County Balance for Improvements is $628,783. The Cabinet’s recommended improvements are KY 1470 Mt. Pleasant Road for 2.342 miles of asphalt resurfacing ($239,140) and KY 3251 Roundtop Road for 1.130 miles of asphalt resurfacing ($141,058.) The remaining amount ($249,141) will be a flex fund allotment.
-Tabled action on Reverse Salt Auction to allow time to find a better price per ton.
-Accepted presentation of McCreary County Conservation District 2021-2022 budget.
Additionally, Judge Greene and Department Heads gave the following updates:
-Occupation tax received for March-$91,220.01.
-Sandhill Park collected $730.00. The County Park collected $1,1,90 in rentals for a total of $1,920. (Magistrates also asked parents to keep their children from playing in the rocks or throwing rocks that have been spread to prevent erosion in areas of the McCreary County Park. Signs will be posted to remind parents and children of this.)
Alcohol Beverage Control has collected $12,030 this month. (Collection for this month continues until a later deadline.)
-Free Bulk Drop Off dates at the transfer station are April 16 and 17.
-The Cumberland Falls Clean Up, which was cancelled in March, due to weather has been rescheduled for May 1 at 8:00 a.m. Contact Nathan Nevels or Tourism Director Michelle Perry to sign up.
-Library overdue fees will be waived during National Library Week.
-Judge Greene thanked students and adults who are working tirelessly to pick up litter and trash along roadsides.
-Deputy Judge Executive Nathan Nevels reported on the Spring Trail Ride scheduled April 22-24 at the Sandhill RV Park. Tie out lines and hitching posts have been added to the park, and a temporary barn is being constructed for the event. The event is selling out with horses and horseback riders expected to come from as far away as New York and Connecticut.
-EMS Department Director Jimmy Barnett reported EMS made 516 runs in March with 911 dispatch answering 1,046 calls. EMS also received a grant of $32,500 to update their Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system. The CAD system is the brain of 911 and takes in all information (e.g. residence has biting dogs, etc.) and stores it. The entire CAD system will be updated/replaced.
-In other business, Magistrate Bill Hale said he has received numerous complaints about dogs being in neighbors’ garbage, etc. County Attorney Austin Price said if neighbors cannot work out problems such as this concerning their pets, he can be contacted at his office to resolve the problem. Hale and Price both reminded the public that dogs are the responsibility of their owners and should not run loose.
One member of the public submitted a question concerning the county creating an ordinance regarding abandoned properties that are dilapidated and have become places for people to “hang out.” Judge Greene said he would get more information, and the magistrates will discuss the issue at a later date.
The McCreary County Fiscal Court meets regularly on the second Thursday of each month at 6:00 at the McCreary County Courthouse.