Brownies Creek will be receiving a park in the months to come. During the fiscal court meeting, the magistrates voted to allow Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock to advertise for bids on the project.
The park will have a walking track, basketball court, playground equipment, a shelter with concrete flooring and a parking lot. There has been discussion about restrooms, but nothing has been confirmed.
Brock said the money has been set aside for a year for the project. The project will be bid in two separate sections: paving and construction. The goal is to finish the project before winter.
The court awarded Hinkle Contracting and Willis Paving bids for blacktopping various county roads. Hinkle Contracting was awarded $77,055.22 and Willis Paving was awarded $81,983.75.
Hinkle Contracting is also on the brink of receiving another bid from the fiscal court involving the Abbey Lane Bridge. Brock said he and the fiscal court are waiting to see if the state will match them 80/20 through the bridge program for the project.
Despite the decision by the state, Brock said the project will move forward. Hinkle Contracting will be awarded the bid once the state makes its decision.
Several tax rates were set during the meeting as well. Several of the tax rates remained the same from the previous year. Real property, personal property, motor vehicles and watercraft and real property for the 109 board all remained the same.
The tax rates set by the Bell County Health Department increased by .04 of a penny. The tax rate is set to 4.6 cents per $100 of assessed value for real property and personal property.
The fiscal court recorded 2012 tax rates for the Bell County Public Library at 8.2 cents per $100 of assessed value for real property and 8.83 cents per $100 of assessed value for personal property.
Brock and the fiscal court also recognized Coal Miner Appreciation Week at the meeting. Brock discussed that Hands of Coal event that took place last weekend and referred to the event as “humbling.”
“We all have to be cognitive of the attack on (the coal industry),” said Brock. He continued to talk about the importance of the coal industry on the county, including the impact it has on the asphalt industry.
“We need to (appreciate coal miners) every week, not just this week,” said Brock.
During the committee progress reports, it was announced that Farm Day will be on Aug. 31 at the Bell County Fairgrounds.
Other business taken care of included:
* Approval of minutes from previous meeting;
* Pay bills and make necessary transfer;
* Accept sheriff’s claim sheet for fee account for last month;
* Approve resolution to show support for a new Veteran’s Hospital facility in Letcher County;
* Open bids on blacktopping various county roads;
* Open bids on new ambulances;
* Accept 2011 Bell County sheriff’s tax settlement;
* Hire Matthew Boatright as part-time animal shelter worker at $7.25 per hour effective Aug. 16;
* Accept checks in the amount of $97,578.34 from Bruce Bennett, sheriff;
* Accept checks from Becky Blevins, clerk.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.