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WILLIAMSBURG - During its meeting Tuesday evening, the Whitley County Fiscal Court honored the passing of former Whitley County Magistrate Bobby Joe Petrey by unanimously approving Resolution 2020-24 which recognizes Petrey for his contributions to Whitley County.

“We have lost a former court member, and I’d like to read Resolution 2020-24 into the minutes of this meeting in recognition of him,” Whitley County Judge Executive Pat White Jr. before reading the following resolution to the court.

“A resolution of the County of Whitley, the Commonwealth of Kentucky honoring Bobby Joe Petrey for his contribution of service to Whitley County.

Whereas, Bobby Joe Petrey aged 72 of Williamsburg, Kentucky passed away Thursday, July 16, 2020 at Baptist Health of Corbin

And whereas, he was born July 27, 1947 in Williamsburg to Dempsey Edward Petrey and Lela Oshie Hamblin Petrey

And whereas, he dedicated his life to the service of the citizens of Whitley County and the United States

Whereas, Bobby Joe Petrey honorably served his country in the United States military

And whereas, he served his community as Whitley County Magistrate and Foreman of the Whitley County Road Department. In these two positions of service, he helped complete projects throughout his district and the entire county

And whereas, one of the bigger projects Bobby Joe was a major contributor to was the Red Bird bridge. He contributed to this project significantly, and made a major impact on the lives of everyone in that community.

Whereas, Bobby Joe always wanted to make his community a better place for his family and his neighbors, he was one of the founding members and instrumental in the creation of Midsprings Park in the Canadatown community. Over the years many people have used the facility created by that park to better themselves, celebrate numerous family events, and play in a safe environment with their children.

And whereas, he leaves an entire community of family and friends to mourn his passing

Now therefore, be it resolved by the Whitley County Fiscal Court that his hard work, dedication, and impact on our community is recognized by the court, and he is commended for his commitment and service to our county. Done this day, the twenty-first day of July, 2020.”

The fiscal court also passed two resolutions, Resolution 2020-21 and Resolution 2020-22, which pertain to two separate grants the court hopes to be awarded in its efforts of purchasing a new garbage truck for the county.

“This truck will allow us expand and serve the other areas of the county that we’ve not been able to serve at this point,” said White. “We should be able to serve all the rest of the county that’s not served by other municipalities, and government run garbage services.”

As Judge White explains it, after the court purchased its first garbage truck and began offering garbage services to some Whitley County residents, the court set a goal of having 400 garbage cans serviced through its efforts before purchasing another truck.

The county has recently surpassed that 400 can goal and is now beginning the process of purchasing the new truck. Resolution 2020-21 specifically pertains to an LGEA Grant, while Resolution 2020-22 pertains to USDA Rural Development Grant that could provide the court with $50,000 in purchasing the truck.

“We’re not 100% sure we’re going to get this,” White said on the USDA Rural Development Grant. “But this resolution allows us to make that application.”

The court then awarded a bid for the new garbage truck and approved the claims and necessary appropriations transfers for the purchase of the new truck.

The specific truck the court is eyeing is 2018 model that is very similar to the first truck the court purchased. The truck currently has approximately 930 miles on it, as Judge White says it has mainly been used to demonstrate the ability of the truck’s features.

The truck will cost $165,000, about $75,000 less than what a new model of the same truck would cost.

“We’re excited about the cost savings,” noted White. “We’re excited about the opportunity to expand. We’ve had numerous people that have contacted us, wanting to sign up for services as quick as that expansion takes place.”

White explained that by having a second truck not only could the county provide its garbage services to more Whitley Countians, but that if the county’s first truck were to break down, the second truck provide assurance that the job could still be done by adding a second-shift run later that day. Judge White said he hoped the county would be able to expand its garbage services beginning Aug. 1.

“With the history our county has had about not having reliable service, that’s something that has been very important in the way we’ve been structuring the growth of the Whitley County Sanitation,” White explained. “We want to make sure we’re doing our best to take care of people, and get them as affordable a price as we can, and they can depend on us.”

The fiscal court also passed Resolution 2020-25 which would require those wishing to camp and stay overnight at one of the county owned boat ramps to have a permit displayed in their vehicles.

The resolution comes at the recommendation of Judge White after he says the sheriff’s department and constable have had complaints of campers overstaying their welcome at the boat ramps.

White explained that the permit would allow those law enforcement officials to easily identify who is and who isn’t supposed to be staying overnight at the boat ramps.

Permits will be free to the public and can be picked up from the Judge Executive’s office 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday-Friday. The permits will feature the county’s seal, the date of arrival at the boat ramp, and the date one is expected to leave. Permits will be limited to a five day maximum period for any person wishing to stay at any given boat ramp. Failure to possess a proper permit will result in the person being asked to leave and remove themselves from camping or staying overnight at the respective boat ramp immediately.

“We had a little issue over the last week or two,” White explained to the court. “The sheriff's office and the constable's office have been very helpful in helping resolve that. We want to try to prevent those in the future. We want these boat ramps to be open to the community, and we want families to feel safe using them.”

In other fiscal court news:

- The court approved an annual contract with OnSite Waste Technologies that would see a grinder system for the removal of sharp instruments used at the county’s ambulance service as opposed to its already existing system.

White explained that the new grinder system would be cost effective and safer for ambulance personnel. The court can also take advantage of an additional 10% discount if the price of the new system is paid annually.

- The court approved the Whitley County Sheriff’s quarterly report for the second quarter of 2020, as well as the bid for the 2020 Whitley County Sheriff tax settlement preparation.

White said the group chosen was a similar group to the one used in years past, and that the invoice from the new group was similar as well.

- Whitley County Sheriff Todd Shelley gave his monthly activity report stating his department had received 77 complaints, 86 criminal arrests, and opened 26 criminal cases in the month of June.

- The court approved the Whitley County Detention Center’s Annual Report for June 2019-June 2020, and its policy and procedure manual for this year. There were no substantial changes to the Detention Center’s procedure manual said White.

- The court approved the treasurer’s settlement for 2020, and authorized the publication of the audit report in lieu of the treasure’s settlement.

White said this is how the court normally proceeds in order to save money, as the treasure’s settlement contains a lot of pages. By publishing the audit report instead, the court saves money and it is made easier to read by the public.

- The court accepted and approved the 2019 county clerk’s excess fees in the amount of $1,166.15.

- The court approved Emergency Ordinance 2020-09 which pertains to budget amendment number two related to a FEMA project, as well as Resolution 2020-23 which pertains to a draw request from a line of credit related to the budget amendment.

It’s a transfer in from the line of credit to be able to pay for some FEMA road projects, road repair projects,” explained White. “Those are some slide repair projects that we’ve been working on. We seek reimbursement from FEMA after we get those. We created that line of credit largely to help with those cash flow issues of getting these large projects done that are 80-plus percent reimbursed by federal funds. I think these are 87% reimbursed by federal funds.”

- The court approved Resolution 2020-20 pertaining to LGEA sewer project.

This project would see sewer grinder placed at the Whitley County jail. It was previously approved during the last fiscal year, however in order for the project to be carried over into the new budget cycle, a new request has to be filed.

- The court approved ordinance 2020-08 which pertains to a budget amendment.

The amendment comes as a result of a surplus from the fiscal court’s budget last year. Whitley County Fiscal Court’s budget last year had a surplus on every account, said White.

“I thought it was a very positive way to end last year, especially considering the surrounding circumstances,” White added.

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