Judge-executive creates committee to examine county fairgrounds improvements

Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Aug.15, 2023 — Nelson County Judge-Executive Tim Hutchins told Nelson Fiscal Court Tuesday that he has created a Nelson County Fairgrounds Planning Committee that will examine the fairgrounds property as it is and look at ways to improve the fairgrounds in the future.

According to Hutchins, the 70-acre fairgrounds could attract more events provided the facilities met the organizer’s needs.

Magistrate Adam Wheatley said that the beef barn at the fairgrounds isn’t adequate for beef show events. Fair Board President John Figg said he had gotten an inquiry about the use of the fairgrounds from a group in northern Indiana, but the fairgrounds did not have adequate facilities.

The committee will be made of more than a dozen individuals, including two magistrates, the county’s engineers, members of the fair board and UK Extension Office staffers.

Magistrate Keith Metcalfe gestures while discussing a possible waiver of the subdivision regulations.

SUBDIVISION REGS. The court heard a request by a subdivision developer regarding the subdivision regulations that cover the minimum width of subdivision roads.

The current rules say that the minimum road width is 22 feet — unless the road is a dead end that is less than 1,000 feet long. In that case, the road can be as narrow as 20 feet in width.

In the Castle Cove subdivision, a new phase is being developed, and a formerly dead-end street will become a through street longer than 1,000 feet. According to the subdivision regulations, the change of the road from a cul-de-sac to a longer through street will require widening the road from 20 to 22 feet.

The developer sought the court’s waiver of the requirement given the expense and trouble of widening the existing road and disturbing the front yards of homes on the street.

Judge-Executive Hutchins spoke in favor of waiving the regulations for the developer; however, the magistrates were not ready to go along with any sort of waiver.

Magistrate Jeff Lear said the county’s subdivision regulations have been in place for years, and if that’s the requirement then the court shouldn’t provide exceptions to its own rules.

Magistrate Jon Snow asked County Attorney Chip McKey if a waiver of the width requirement could lead to a lawsuit. McKay said it could if a future request for a similar waiver was denied.

After the magistrates debated the need to update or change the regulations to accommodate the developer, County Engineer Brad Spalding suggest a compromise that would allow the developer to proceed while giving the county time to determine if a regulation change is warranted. Spalding suggested the county hold a bond for the potential road width changes until any changes can be discussed and voted on.

The magistrates approved the compromise 4-1, with Magistrate Keith Metcalfe voting against the compromise.

DEE HEAD / HWY 52. Fiscal Court awarded a bid for the long-discussed Dee Head / Highway 52 intersection project.

The state offered the county a $1 million budget for the project if the county would manage it. County Engineer Brad Spalding recommended the court approve a bid from RAME Contracting LLC of Springfield of $506,153.

In addition to the construction costs, the county will use state money to pay an additional $153,339 in engineering, inspection services and other necessary fees for a total of $660,402. Those expenses will be paid 100 percent by the state.

In other business the court:

— appointed David Martin to the airport board after Andy Stone, who serves on the Bardstown Board of Education, was advised it was a conflict and resigned.

— approved adding a short section of Meadow Ridge Drive back into the county road system. The road was adopted as a county road in 1999. However, that designation was apparently never submitted to state officials and was left off the county road list.

— heard from Landfill Manager John Greenwell that preliminary work is underway on the landfill expansion project.

— approved allowing the county engineer to spend up to $100,000 on a good, used dump truck.

— approved a request from Nelson County Clerk Jeanette Hall Sidebottom to pay the Lincoln Area Development District to assist the county with redrawing county precinct lines. The court also approved the county clerk’s request to pay for sending postcards to all county households once the precinct changes have been made.

— approved the second and final reading of the county’s updated solid waste ordinance.

NEXT UP. Nelson Fiscal Court will next meet Monday, Aug. 21, 2023 at a time to be announced.


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