County OKs Log Still’s incentives, upholds planning commission decision

Fourth-grade students from St. Joseph School sit on the floor and watch as Judge-Executive Tim Hutchins prepares to start Tuesday morning’s fiscal court meeting. The students led the meeting by reciting the Pledge of Allegiance and with a prayer.

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, May 7, 2024 — Nelson Fiscal Court opened its first May meeting Tuesday morning with the Pledge of Allegiance and an opening prayer led by a group of 4th-grade students from St. Joseph School.

The court also received an update on the programs available to assist those who suffer domestic violence from Shonna Sheckles, the director of outreach services for the Lincoln Trail District’s domestic violence efforts.

Kentucky leads the nation in domestic violence, she said. The district has a shelter in Elizabethtown that offers safe housing for men, women and children who may be suffering from domestic violence.

Sheckles told the court that thanks to the efforts of Nelson Jailer Justin Hall, she has been making visits to domestic violence victims housed in the Nelson County Correctional Center and providing assistance there.

Magistrates Adam Wheatley and Keith Metcalfe discuss a topic prior to the start of Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting.

LOG STILL INCENTIVES. The court followed through on a request brought forward last month to update a resolution regarding financial incentives for the Log Still Distillery operation.

The updated resolution added job numbers and updated the total of money invested in the project. The resolution was necessary for the facility to get state incentives, as well as have a portion of its Nelson County occupational tax rebated for a 10-year period.

WOODLAWN SPRINGS REVIEW. Fiscal court reviewed the findings of the Planning Commission on an application that expanded the number of housing units on land that was formerly part of the Woodlawn Springs golf course.

The original approval was for three units; the commission approved raising the total to nine. The court was asked to review the commission’s decision and either approve or deny the recommendation.

After discussion about the change, and how it fit into the comprehensive plan, the court voted 3-2 to approve the commission’s recommendation. Magistrates M.T. Harned and Adam Wheatley voted against the approval

FIRE DUES INCREASE. The chief of the New Hope Fire Department spoke to the court and requested they consider allowing New Hope to raise its dues $10 a year, from $40 to $50 per year.

The increase is needed to help maintain the department’s equipment.

The all-volunteer fire department has 25 volunteers. Dues to support the department have not been raised since 2008.

The current dues generate about $55,000 in revenue annually. Revenue from other sources adds about $15,000 to the department’s annual budget.

Currently, the dues are paid by a property owner no matter how many properties he or she may own in the New Hope fire district. An individual who might own 4 or 5 houses only pays the fire dues on a single property — an agreement that’s been in place a number of years, the magistrates were told.

The department responded to nine structure fires last year. Its main fire apparatus is only operating a half capacity because of a broken pump that the department can’t afford to have repaired.

After questioning by the magistrates, Judge-Executive Tim Hutchins suggested the court revisit the request at the May 21st fiscal court meeting.

In other business, the court:

— approved the state’s Fiscal Year 2025 county road aid agreement and resolution.

— approved a resolution to seek reimbursement for video arraignment software the county has already purchased. The reimbursement amount is $44,018.

— approved allowing the judge-executive to enter into a lease agreement for the placement of a cellular tower on county-owned property at the Culvertown ballpark.

As part of the agreement, the cell tower company will allow the county to use the tower for communications antennas for county 911 dispatch and emergency communication radio systems.

— approved a resolution to reimburse the public school districts for the transportation of parochial school kids. The county pays 100 percent of the transportation costs to the districts and then applies for reimbursement from the state.

Last year, the state reimbursed the county 100 percent of the schools’ transportation costs.

— heard from County Engineer Brad Spalding that mowing of county rights-of-way is underway in District 1, and will work around to all districts as quickly as possible.

Spalding noted that mowing crews’ first pass of the summer will only cut about a 10-foot swath along rights-of-way. Later mowings during the summer will make wider mowing passes, he said.

— voted to eliminate the meeting scheduled for 6 p.m. Tuesday, May 21, 2024, and hold a special meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 21st due to it being Primary Election Day.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court next meets at 9 a.m Tuesday, May 21, 2024, in the second-floor meeting room in the Old Courthouse.


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