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Nelson Fiscal Court agrees to help fund study for multi-purpose sports complex

Nelson Fiscal Court (file photo)

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, April 20, 2021 — Nelson Fiscal Court voted Tuesday to help fund a study that will evaluate the cost to build and operate a multi-purpose recreation facility to serve the residents of Bardstown and Nelson County.

The county will join the City of Bardstown and the tourist commission, with each entity providing $5,000 to fund the study to be conducted by Pinnacle Indoor Sports.

A multi-purpose sports facility could include features long-desired including an indoor pool, indoor track, racquetball and other facilities.

The consulting group will update the previously collected data regarding an indoor sports facility. This study will be different that previous ones because it will also examine the community’s needs for the facility, and both the cost to build a facility and how to pay for its operation.

While all the magistrates agreed to fund the study, Judge Executive Dean Watts made it clear that given the county’s current revenue projections, it will not have funds for an annual contribution to operate a new facility if it is built.

Watts said if the county government wishes to help fund the operational costs of a sports complex, it would require new revenue in the form of new fees or taxes.

“This study will actually put numbers on it,” Magistrate Jeff Lear said. “Its more comprehensive than the past studies.”

Fiscal court was the final agency to approve funds for the study.

BULKY ITEM PICKUP PROGRESS. The county’s bulky item pickup crews on Tuesday were in the Wilkerson Road and Stephens Lane areas in northeastern Nelson County, according to Lee Mattingly, the assistant county road supervisor.

He said he expected to get the pickup completed within another week and half.

The county crews have picked up 985 tons of large items so far.

THE REAL COST OF BULKY ITEM PICKUP. The county’s annual bulky item pickup is in its seventh week, and Watts told the magistrates that the fees that are supposed to cover the cost of the pickup continue to fall short.

The shortfall means that the county must use taxpayer money to subsidize the annual pickup, Watts said.

The pickup is supposed to be covered by garbage fees, but after a detailed analysis of the actual costs, Watts advised the magistrates they will need to consider how to better balance the costs in the future.

Watts said the last garbage rate hike fell short of generating enough revenue to cover the pickup’s cost. The court cut the original request to raise garbage fees by $1 a month for three years to a 50 cent per year annual increase.

“That extra 50 cents would have just about made us whole” in covering all the costs of bulky item pickup, Watts told the court.

Watts had no intention of eliminating the pickup, which was started originally years ago by former Judge Executive Mike Abel to reduce roadside dumping and using sinkholes and ravines for disposing of large items.

Magistrate Eric Shelburne suggested the county drop conducting the pickup if its costing the county more than its worth.

“If we can’t pay for it, get rid of it,” Shelburne said.

“This is just food for thought, guys. Its one of the best programs we have.”

The court took no action.

RURAL SECONDARY ROAD FUNDS. Paul Sanders from the Elizabethtown office of the state’s Department of Transportation reviewed the state’s plan for rural secondary road improvement program.

The program will provide a total of $1.417 million in road funds to the county, with $605,400 slated for regular road maintenance.

The bulk of the road money, $810,000, will go to repave the entire length of Bellwood Road, KY 733 — just over 11 miles — from the Bardstown end on Boston Road near Hugh Ice Loop, to the Boston end near the Dollar General Store.

The magistrates approved the rural secondary road plan, as well as the recommendations for state flex funds for repaving portions of several county roads.

The road paving projects approved include:

  • 1.722 miles of Thomas Lane in the Woodlawn area;
  • just more than half a mile of the county’s portion of Gilkey Run Road;
  • and just over three-tenths of a mile of Allender Lane.

The total for all three projects is estimated at $134,537.

In other business, Nelson Fiscal Court:

— approved renewing its agreement with Anthem for county employee health insurance. According to Watts, the insurance broker offered the renewal with no rate increase for the next coverage year.

— heard that the completion date for the bridge replacement in downtown Bloomfield is Sept. 1st.

— approved the annual road aid agreement with the state;

— approved a tax moratorium request from the owners of a historic home at 509 North Third St. The owners plan to invest up to $900,000 in the homes rehabilitation.

— approved a road salt bid from Morton Salt for $92 a ton. The county will need approximately 1,000 tons to restock its road salt supply.

— heard from Watts that they were being sent the first draft of the 2021-22 county budget by email. The court will have an in-depth discussion of the draft budget at its first meeeting in May.

— heard Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa that the next sheriff’s office Citizens Academy will start on Monday, May 10, 2021. The class will last approximatley nine weeks and will give participants an inside look at what it means to work in law enforcement in our community. For more information, contact the Nelson County Sheriff’s Office.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court next meets at 9 a.m. Tuesday, May 4, 2021.

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