Fiscal court alters road repair plans

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Magistrates show support for allowing Williamstown to provide Internet access in some rural areas

By John Whitlock

The Owen County Fiscal Court is looking for ways to stretch some highway repair dollars.

Earlier this year, the county received its annual allotment from the state’s fund for secondary roads. The money is given out each year to help repair and renovate county roads.

The county received thousands of dollars from the state’s secondary road fund. The funding was earmarked for one project on U.S. 36 and three projects for Ky. 1883.

But by the time the U.S. 36 renovations were complete, only about $164,000 was left.

Although there was enough money left to do one of the Ky. 1883 projects, Owen County Road Foreman Greg Smoot was concerned that the work could be undone by trucks and pavers finishing the other sections of roadway next year.

Magistrate Teresa Davis asked if money could be shifted from other sources to cover the additional cost of paving all three phases of Ky. 1883.

But Owen County Judge-Executive Carolyn Keith said the money is simply not available.

“We can’t keep robbing Peter to pay Paul,” Keith said.

Smoot recommended to the magistrates that four other smaller and less expensive paving projects be undertaken with the leftover money.

The projects include:

• Pleasant Grove Roads, from Dogwalk to Wilderness Road (approximately 1.4 miles), for approximately $41,500.

• Beverly Lane, from U.S. 127 to Brush Creek (approximately 1.67 miles), for about $59,500

• Elmer Davis Dam Road, from U.S. 127 to end (approximately 1.296 miles), for about $33,050

• Lucas Lane, from Ky .845 to Pennington Lane (approximately 1 mile), for about $27,650

Smoot used bids from previous projects to estimate the cost of jobs and allowed for a $4,000 cushion in his projections.

As the court considered the changes, Davis wanted a provision added that would have assured the new projects in District 3 were given priority since the money was coming from projects in her area that were going to be deferred.

Her motion did not receive a second and was dropped.

The court unanimously approved moving $164,000 from the secondary road fund to the county’s highway fund to pay for the projects Smoot recommended.

In other action, the fiscal court came out in support of a request by Williamstown Mayor Glenn Caldwell and the publicly-owned Williamstown Cable to extend service into some parts of Owen County that may not have access to high-speed Internet service.

“Adequate Internet is not available for this rural area at this time; therefore, many residents and churches are unable to provide this service for both our children and adults. Therefore, the Owen Fiscal Court wishes that this company come into this area of Owen County to provide this needed service,” the resolution said.

The court unanimously passed the resolution.

Under the agreement, the court’s invitation is limited to Leaning Oak Road, located off Ky. 330; the Wild Deer Lake and Tommy Reed Road, located off Ky. 330; and all buildings located on the Owen County side of Ky. 330 up to turning left on Ky. 607. From this point, all roads off Ky. 607 would be added, including the Timberwood report and New Columbus.

The agreement indicates the Internet provider’s coverage area would end at Natlee Bridge on Ky. 607.