Fiscal Court hires new E-911 Dispatch director, votes to review zoning denial

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2020 — Nelson Fiscal Court approved a recommendation to hire Shawn Gaither as the E-911 Dispatch Center’s new director.

The vote took place at the court’s virtual meeting by teleconference Tuesday morning via the Zoom platform.


Gaither, a resident of Bardstown, comes from Lebanon’s dispatch center, where he has worked since 2014. Previously, he worked in corrections for more than 13 years at the Marion Adjustment Center.

Judge Executive Dean Watts told fiscal court that the mayor of Lebanon and county judge executive were both complementary of Gaither’s work, and he came highly recommended.

Nelson County Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa said he was pleased at the number of very qualified applicants the dispatch board had apply for the position, and that Gaither was certainly the top candidate for the position.

Gaither’s position as director must now be approved by the Bardstown City Council, and is likely to be taken up at the council’s next meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 13th.

LOG CABIN DISTILLERY ZONING REVIEW. Fiscal Court voted to review the Nelson County Planning Commission’s denial of a zoning request for the Log Cabin Still distillery operation.

The commission voted 4-3 to deny a request to rezone a property near the distillery site — which had already received I-2 zoning — to B-1. The applicant wanted to use a home across from the distillery property as a permanent office.

The applicant submitted a written request asking Nelson Fiscal Court to review the denial. The court voted unanimously to review the commission’s recommendation at its next meeting, 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 19th.

COVID AT THE JAIL. Nelson County Jailer Buck Snellen said the quarantine period is over at the Nelson County Jail, and the jail is open to accept inmates.

The jail current has 45 inmates at the Nelson County Jail, and has 35 inmates housed at the LaRue County Jail. However, those inmates are stuck in LaRue County and under quarantine for COVID-19 at that facility.

Snellen was asked what the jail is doing to prevent another COVID-19 outbreak. Other than taking all the precautions and taking the temperatures of new inmates, there’s not much more the jail can do, particularly if someone who is asymptomatic is admitted to the jail.

JAIL MEDICAL COSTS. The court spent time discussing the cost of providing healthcare for jail inmates, with several magistrates expressing concern that the costs were too high.

State law requires the jail to provide medical care for inmates, who are free to request to see a healthcare provider while they are incarcerated.

The magistrates asked Snellen if healthcare costs were a problem at other jails. Snellen said every jail handles healthcare differently, depending on the size of the facility. For example, the Marion County Jail is large enough to have its own medical staff.

Watts reminded the court that the jail currently has several outstanding lawsuits related to healthcare. “Having medical at the jail is extremely important,” Watt told the magistrates.

In other action, the court:

— Watts announced that there will be a countywide roadside cleanup effort this fall. Due to the pandemic, groups doing the cleanups will be limited to no more than 10 participants. The county will pay the groups for cleaning the portion of roadway they select. The county will provide garbage bags and safety vests.

The deadline to signup is Monday, Oct. 19, 2020. Call the judge executive’s office at 348-1800 for more information.

— approved accepting the new portions of existing roads in Corman’s Crossing subdivision into the county’s road maintenance system.

— the court approved a bid of $51,902 to remount an EMS ambulance box onto a new Chevrolet truck chassis. The final bid was several thousand dollars over an earlier estimate, but Watts said the EMS budget had sufficient funds to cover the extra cost. The final cost of the remount would be significantly less expensive that the purchase of a brand new ambulance.

— Watts reported that the tuckpointing work at the Wickland estate continues, and should be completed in the next 10 days.

— the search for a new recreation director has been narrowed to two candidates, Watts reported. He will have a final recommendation readyin the next week or so.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court will next meet at 9 a.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in the fiscal court meeting room on the second floor of the Old Courthouse.


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