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Local governments will begin removing political signs located in rights-of-way

Nelson Fiscal Court met Tuesday morning, Sept. 18, 2018. From left, Magistrates Jerry Hahn, Jeff Lear, Bernard Ice, Sam Hutchins and Keith Metcalfe. At right, Judge Executive Dean Watts.

 

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018 — With the Nov. 6th General Election less than 50 days away, politics — and political signs in particular — were a topic of hot discussion at Tuesday’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting.

The discussion focused on a memo from the state Department of Transportation advising political candidates that it would begin enforcing state law prohibiting the placement of political signs on state rights-of-way.

Several candidates in the audience also chimed in during the discussion.

Judge Executive Dean Watts explains the laws governing political signs in various rights-of-way. Starting next week, the county’s code enforcement officer will start removing signs improperly located in county rights-of-way.

Judge Executive Dean Watts advised them that the width of the right-of-way on state and county roads can vary from 20 feet from the centerline of the road, to 50 feet or more from the center line of some state roadways.

Watts said he had received complaints from a constituent regarding signs blocking the view of traffic at the intersection of Padgett and North Third St. The state removed those signs.

Watts said beginning next week, the county’s code enforcement officer would begin picking up signs located in county right-of-way. Any signs picked up on county rights-of-way aren’t discarded, but can be picked up at the county road garage on Maple Hill. Signs removed from state highway rights-of-way should be at the local state garage.

County Engineer Brad Spalding suggested that candidates refer to state right-of-way maps available on the state’s Department of Transportation website in order to be certain their signs are properly located. Candidates who have questions about local or state rights-of-way can contact Spalding at the Nelson County Landfill, (502) 348-1880.

WESTERN BYPASS PUBLIC MEETING. Watts also reminded the public of the meeting about the western Bardstown bypass set for 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Sept. 27, 2018, at Thomas Nelson High School.

Watts said state officials will have maps with a series of preliminary corridors that are being considered as possible routes for the bypass.

NEEDLE EXCHANGE PROGRAM UPDATE. Watts gave a brief presentation on the county’s needle exchange program that was approved by Fiscal Court in November 2016.

According to Watts, the program — which is operated by the Nelson County Health Department — serviced 96 people between July 2017 and June 2018 for a total of 344 visits. The program averages eight new clients per month.

Sixty-four percent of the program participants are male; the rest are female. The average age of participants is 32 years of age.

The program right now is receiving only about 36 percent of the used needles returned. Some of those not returned may have been confiscated or disposed of in other ways.

Watts said he will ask a representative from the Lincoln Trail Health Department present more information to the magistrates at a future court meeting.

In other business, the court:

— approved a proclamation setting Sept. 17 through 23, 2018, as Constitution Week in Nelson County.

— heard that the Woodlawn Road culvert replacement project could be completed as early as this weekend.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court’s next meeting is 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in the fiscal court meeting room on the second floor of the Old Courthouse.

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