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Court OKs Maywood changes; adopts stricter road construction standards

From left, Magistrates Eric Shelburne, Jeff Lear, Bernard Ice, Sam Hutchins and Keith Metcalfe listen to Judge Executive Dean Watts at Tuesday morning’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018 — After more than a month of discussion, Nelson Fiscal Court approved the adoption of the roadway and rights of way into the county road system that will eventually become the new entrance into the Maywood subdivision and the realignment of the entrance of Leslie Ballard Road on US150.

The issue was an earlier state government oversight regarding the existing private ownership of part of the current entrance road into Maywood. According to County Engineer Brad Spalding, the state revised its documents to also address the private property. Once the new entrance and the realignment of Leslie Ballard Road are complete, the revisions will be accepted into the county road system.

Magistrates Jeff Lear and Bernard Ice listen as Sam Hutchins speaks during Tuesday’s Nelson Fiscal Court meeting.

COUNTY ROAD STANDARDS. After some discussion of its merits, the magistrates voted to approved improved road standards that are designed to improve the longevity of new roads built in the county.

The biggest change in the standards is the requirement for a thicker level of dense grade rock as the base of the roadway. The additional dense grade means a road will hold up longer, Spalding explained. However not all the magistrates were convinced of the merits of the tougher construction standard.

Magistrate Keith Metcalf questioned how effective the new standard would be in comparison to the added cost the additional rock will cost the developer — costs that will be passed on to homebuyers. Metcalf said the higher costs to developers will make houses less affordable. Many roads in the county already have gone 15 or more years without repaving, he said, and there’s no guarantee the new standard will improve road durability.

Spalding said the state road department has studies that confirm that the tougher standards will result in longer intervals between repairs and repaving. Magistrate Jeff Lear agreed, noting that the standards will provide an overall improvement in road quality and protect the taxpayers whose money is used for road repairs.

The road standards also clarify the process used for naming private roads and existing county roads.

Magistrate Keith Metcalfe questioned the wisdom of adopting the more stringent road construction standards, noting that they will increase the cost per lot homebuyers will have to pay to buy a house.

The motion to approve the new road standards passed by 4-0. Magistrate Keith Metcalf abstained from voting.

HUMANE SOCIETY CONTRACT. For a number of years, county government and the Humane Society of Nelson County have had a contract for the operation of the Animal Control building that receives animals picked up by the animal control officer. Judge Executive Dean Watts said he was advised that the non-profit group no longer wanted to continue its contract to operate the facility.

In the contract, the county pays the society approximately $63,000 to operate the animal control building, which includes care of feeding of the animals seven days a week.

Watts said he was considering options, but it may mean hiring someone to take over those duties.

In other business, the court:

— approved a non-exclusive telecommunications franchise to cover all of the county. Once approved, the franchise will allow the City of Bardstown cable (or any other cable operator) to expand service areas.

— gave final approval to changes to the county’s alcohol beverage control ordinance.

— notified the court that Jailer Dorcas Figg, County Clerk Elaine Filiatreau and Sheriff Mike Newton submitted their resignations that are all effective Dec. 31, 2018. The incoming elected officials will be sworn-in on Thursday, Dec. 27, 2018.

Judge Executive Dean Watts took time to honor the outgoing county elected officials, including Magistrate Sam Hutchins, County Clerk Elaine Filiatreau, Nelson County Sheriff Mike Newton and Jailer Dorcas Figg.

The process will avoid the costs of an extra audit if the elected officials had to serve the first few days of the new year, Watts explained.

Fiscal court recognized Figg, Filiatreau and Newton for their service to the community. Figg has served with the Nelson County Jail for 50 years, Watts said.

— approved the purchase of two new Chevrolet police cars by the sheriff’s office. The cars will replace vehicles currently being used by detectives.

— approved bids for two Chevrolet pickup trucks from the Short Auto Group in Winchester. The trucks will serve the road department. The state contract price for the 2019 Chevrolet Silverado 4×4 2500 double cab trucks is $27,711 including the extra cost of a bedliner.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court will next meet on the second and fourth Tuesday in January, Jan. 8 and Jan. 22. The court meetings will return to the normal schedule — the first and third Tuesdays of the month — beginning in February.

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