Representatives of the Bell County Soil Conservation District attended the Bell Fiscal Court meeting on Tuesday to discuss services and events the organization provides in the county.
Hannah Browning and David Thompson addressed the court, saying soil conservation works with natural resources and the farmers in the county.
Thompson said the agency is in the process of installing seven high tunnel greenhouses in different locations throughout the county.
He said soil conservation helped local farmers with approximately $7,500 in local cost share assistance. They also partner with the Bell County Cooperative Extension Agency each year to hold the Farm Field Day at the Bell County Fair Grounds. The event is typically held the Friday before Labor Day.
The organization has an annual tree giveaway each year. Last year, more than 3,500 trees were distributed.
“We appreciate what you all do,” said Judge-Executive Albey Brock. “You are a good service to the community and you help keep farming alive.”
In another matter, the court awarded a bid to Hinkle Contracting in the amount of $4,753,061.30 for the Asher Industrial Park Access Road Surfacing project.
The funding for the project comes from the state transportation budget, which Brock stated is the reason it can only be used for paving that specific road.
The project is a line item in the transportation budget. Brock stated he wished the money could be used for other county roads, but is legally prohibited from doing so.
Another item taken care of during the meeting concerned the Brownies Creek Water Project. There were two payments approved by the court for the project.
The first payment approved was for $3,218 to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority for administrative fees on the project (to be paid when funds are received). The second payment was to Vaughn and Melton Consulting for engineering work performed on the project (to be paid when funds are received).
Vaughn and Melton received two payments, one for $27,500 and the other for $11,405.98.
A resolution was approved during the meeting allowing Brock to sign all related documents for the project.
The resolution also allows the court to accept a grant, approve the grant agreement and authorize the amendment of local budget.
Several employments were announced during the court meeting.
George Middleton was hired as a part-time deputy emergency manager and 911 worker. Johnny Smith, Michael Redmon and Brandy Ferguson were all hired as part-time emergency medical technicians. They were employed at a rate of $7.50 per hour.
Yvonne Caroon was hired as a part-time paramedic at $9.50 per hour.
The new employees will begin work on Thursday. Josh Bays, an employee at the animal shelter, was changed from part-time to full-time effective Thursday.
Other business included:
* Approval of minutes from the previous meeting;
* Paid bills and made necessary transfers;
* Accepted the sheriff’s claim sheet for fee account from last month;
* Accepted excess fees in the amount of $20,000 from Becky Blevins;
* Approved the 2013 amended budget for the Bell County Clerk;
* Accepted Eddie Hurst Lane into the Bell County Road System in District 5;
* Accepted checks from Becky Blevins, clerk;
* Accepted checks in the amount of $219,412.46 from Bruce Bennett, sheriff;
* Gave the judge permission to advertise for bids on a pickup truck and a small rubber track excavator for the road department;
* Nominated Pat Bingham, Bruce Nunn and Irma Brooks for the citizen member to the Cumberland Valley Area Development District Board of Directors;
* Approved payment of $10,000 to the Frakes Volunteer Fire Department to upgrade the radio system.
Anthony Cloud can be reached via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.