County hires attorney to look into agreement with Trus Joist
by Bailey Richards
HAZARD — The Perry County Fiscal Court met on Tuesday, May 15 to discuss contracts, reviewing several special district budgets, and refinancing the justice center.
As the deadline to give Trus Joist Macmillan/Weyerhaeyser the deed to the property given to them by the county draws near, Perry County Judge-Executive Denny Ray Noble said that they have hired an attorney to look into the contract to make sure they have fulfilled their end.
County Attorney John Carl Shackleford said that while he is the county attorney, time constraints keep him from being able to dedicate the necessary efforts to the project.
“Sometimes it is necessary to hire outside council,” noted Shackelford.
According to Noble, Trus Joist signed a contract with Perry County to hire and offer a set number of hours to a set number of employees over 15 years. In return, the county would give them their property at a severely reduced rate.
“If they are correct with what they said they were doing, then they get the property and the buildings for one dollar,” said Noble.
The attorney that had been hired to look at the contract and confirm their activity is James Asher or Whitesburg.
“There was a contract that they were supposed to work so many people per day, and I think from the report I have gotten it was for 15 years,” said Noble. “We are just questioning whether they did that or not. We need to know before I sign that deed.”
As money is becoming tighter across the board, the fiscal court is looking at refinancing the Perry County Justice Center for a lower rate. While the action must be taken by the board of directors of the justice center, the fiscal court must take action to allow them to look into switching companies.
Currently, the board of directors at the justice center has some gaps left by the passing of some members, such as Hazard Mayor Bill Gorman. The court approved the appointment of members to fill these spots, and approved a measure allowing the board to advertise for bids on their current mortgage.
The court also approved a resolution to use grant money to look into expanding water service in the county. The money, which Noble described as “multi county,” will be used to completed a water study in Buckhorn.
“The City of Hazard told us that they can’t supply enough water,” Noble said.
The grant is for $30,000 to be used to determine the feasibility of putting a water plant in Buckhorn to help alleviate some of the strain on the Hazard plant.
“If we had a major factory come in right now, we wouldn’t have enough water to supply them,” Noble added.
Also on the agenda for the May 15 meeting was possible action to condemn a piece of property on Stable Fork in Buckhorn. The property is preventing the county from being able to create a new entrance into the road that would allow residents access during times of flooding.
Stable Fork is also currently connected to the new Eagle’s Landing campground, and this will allow residents access without driving through the campground.
“We are going to close off Stable Fork by the park so that people won’t be coming in and out that way,” said Noble. “It will get them out of that high water over there when the water gets up, (and) they will have a way out.”
According to Shackelford, no action has yet been taking in circuit court. Approving the resolution showing the support of the fiscal court is the first step in condemning the property.
“Before any suit can be filed in circuit court, the fiscal court has to approve the filing of the condemnation,” said Shackelford.
The fiscal court also reviewed and adopted the special taxing district budgets for LKLP and the Perry County Extension Office.
“The fiscal court cannot approve or disapprove this budget,” said Noble, adding that the budgets are set by the boards of these organizations and are only reviewed by the fiscal court so that they can be put in to the public record.
The fiscal court also approved changing the name of Plantation Lane to Maw Granny Lane at the request of the residents who recently lost a grandmother.
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