TheTimesTribune.com, Corbin, KY

Local News

July 26, 2013

Laurel Fiscal Court discusses bridge work, animal shelter

CORBIN — By Charlotte Underwood / Staff Writer

Grant applications, personnel changes and bridge work topped the agenda at the Thursday morning Laurel County Fiscal Court meeting.

The hiring of a new person at the county animal shelter was also approved. Christopher Reid was hired full-time at $10 an hour.

“Reid has experience working at a veterinarian’s and he will be a real asset to us at the animal shelter,” Laurel County Judge Executive David Westerfield said. Due to Reid’s hiring, the shelter will be open from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays beginning Aug. 10.

“We hope having these extra hours will help more animals get placed into good homes,” Westerfield said.

Reid will begin his duties around Aug. 5.

In other personnel changes, the board also approved the transfer of county employee Chad Robinson from the animal shelter back to the road department where he was originally. Sam Moore was also promoted to county road department shop supervisor, which included a $2 an hour raise.

Laurel County magistrates approved two Homeland Security Grant applications, including one for the East Bernstadt Fire Department and one for the county’s 911 department.

“These grants have to come through the county, which is why we need to approve their applications,” Westerfield said, explaining that the fire department would use the grant to purchase gear, while the 911 department was applying for a grant to update the computers.

The board also approved an agreement with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for the replacement of a wooden bridge with a concrete one in the south-central part of the county in District Two.

“It is the old wooden bridge in Farriston that crosses the railroad,” Westerfield said, adding that the state had allocated $470,000 for the project. According to Westerfield, the bridge had some new boards put on it about two years ago, but was in much need of being replaced.

“They (the state) are going to try to drop the bridge as much as possible and also try to take some of the curve out of it,” Westerfield said.

The second reading and adoption of a personnel ordinance regarding policy was also held during the meeting. The amended personnel policy states that if any employee of the fiscal court is arrested or convicted of a crime, then they will be terminated immediately. It also changed the previous policy regarding post-accident drug testing. Before the amendment employees who were involved in an accident which caused death or bodily injury to someone or if the county had reasonable suspicion of drug or alcohol use, the employee had to submit to a drug test within eight hours of the accident. Under the new policy, the employee must submit to a drug/alcohol test immediately. Refusal to submit to testing will be considered as a positive test and will result in immediate termination. Some new changes to the policy read Thursday included a change in the wording regarding employee raises. It was added that part-time employees would receive a 50-cent an hour raise to “make it fair and cover the cost of increased living expenses,” according to Deputy Judge Executive Rick Brewer. Previously the wording in the policy regarding cost of living raises referred only to full-time employees.

It was also added into the personnel policy that employees supplied with uniforms would pay a $100 deposit for those uniforms, so that if uniforms were not returned after an employee no longer worked for the county, then the county would not take a loss on the uniforms.

In other business, magistrates approved the Laurel County Sheriff’s Department to sell some surplus property, mostly vehicles from drug seizures. Laurel County Clerk Dean Johnson also got approval for the purchase of two shelving units for the county’s deed office for a total of $15,744.

“This is a capital expenditure because this is capital equipment as the shelving units will be at the deed office permanently,” Johnson said.

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