WEBSTER COUNTY, Ky. (4/15/13) - In the absence of Judge Executive Jim Townsend, magistrate Tony Felker was appointed to oversee Monday’s Fiscal Court meeting.
The court welcomed Kim Humphrey from Alliance Resource Partners (ARLP). She invited the magistrates to attend the Alliance Energy A Summit in Evansville, IN on Friday May 17, 2013.
The summit, hosted by ARLP CEO Joe Craft, is targeted at the coal industry’s ‘stakeholders, or the businesses who do business within the industry.
Also on the agenda for the summit is guest speaker Alex Epstien, the President and Founder of the Center for Industrial Progress. Epstien is considered the number one debater of fossil fuels, and has taken on Greenpeace, Occupy Wall Street and the Sierra Club in the past.
“The mining industry in Kentucky is doing great,” Humphrey said. “But there are a lot of changes going on in the coal industry.”
Humphrey told the court that recently the regional director of ARLP received a phone call from a foreign country that was looking to purchase American coal. The caller credited the Webster County Judge Executive’s office with getting them in contact.
“We’ve also had two groups in from China during the last month,” she added. “One was here looking to buy coal and the other was looking at our safety technology.”
Next Webster County Jailer Terry Elder reported on the bids he had received for an addition to the jail’s kitchen.
Elder brought it to the court’s attention in October that the jail’s kitchen needed to be enlarged.
“We knew when we were building the new edition that the kitchen was small but to make it the proper size would have added another $1.5 million or so,” Elder explained at the time. “It was built to serve approximately 124 meals a day. We’re up to 800 meals a day now and we must expand in order to stay in compliance with the Department of Corrections.”
But the recent round of job bids won't do anything to alleviate the crowding at this time. Elder, in speaking with Department of Correction and the architect who designed the expansion estimated the cost of a 22.5’ wide x 40’ in length addition to cost approximately $300,000-$350,000
“We opened the bids last week in this room,” he said. “We had six bids, and they’re all about $200,000 out of the ballpark. I would recommend that we reject the bids and take a different route.”
Magistrate Jerry “Poogie” Brown said that although he trusted Elder, legally he felt that the magistrates should at least review the bids. After brief consideration he made the motion to reject them as Elder had suggested. The court was in agreement.
Felker then began the process of presenting road bids for the 2013-2014 fiscal year to the court. All together there were 13 bids, covering the cost of everything from gravel to the fuel needed to haul materials. After a lengthy presentation the court decided to take the bids under advisement and report on them at the next meeting (Tuesday May 28, 2013).
During the road request portion of the meeting, Magistrate Poogie Brown asked Sheriff Frankie Springfield to contact CSX about the railroad crossing on Main Street in Sebree.
“Can you tell them that the crossing is a hazard?” he asked. Springfield said he would see what he could do.
Finally the Sheriff presented the 2012 Fee Settlement to the court. The estimate had been for $421,800, but the total amount ended up being $465,653.44.
With no other business the court adjourned.
J-E News Editor
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