The Hancock County Fiscal Court met on Monday morning, September 11th. The lowest bid, submitted by GN Excavating, was approved by the court for the construction of a new Fire Station for the Dukes Fire Department located on Happy Hollow Road in Hawesville.
Judge-Executive Johnny “Chic” Roberts said bids opened last week and 3 were submit- ted. The low bid was from GN Excavating at $1,272,948.13. “This process has been lengthy,” Roberts said, “but I recommend we go ahead with the low bid here.
We need to do it contingent on the approval of the extra $250K from DLG (KY Department for Local Government- Grants), which I think we’ll get by the end of the week. Even if we approve this today, the contractor would need to wait until we get that approval or it would affect reimbursement.”
Gary Nugent, owner of GN Excavating said, “We’re subbing the building out and having the building built by someone else. All of the rest of the work, we’ll self-perform. Once we have paperwork signed, we’ll order the building package at that time. I’d like to get the dirt work and the concrete and all that done before the weather gets bad.”
HC Emergency Management Director Kyle Veach said they’ve been busy. “This time of year we do a lot of training,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of incident responses here of late. Since I submitted a report, we responded to a propane truck roll over on 144, an incident at Windward Heights Apartments and a cardiac arrest in Pellville. We are working with KYEM (KY Emergency Management) to try to acquire 2 new trailers to replace the command post and also [toward] a mobile dispatch center. We’re waiting to hear back from them for approval.”
Senior Services Report
Lona Morton, Program Director for Hancock County Senior Services, said, “We’re very busy. To- day, we are going to have a QPR (Question, Persuade, Refer) Training. It is a suicide prevention. Right now, I’m focusing on staff but I did open it up to the seniors. It will be at noon out at the Senior Center and it’s about an hour. I’m also looking to get certified to be able to lead those classes because mental health for aging is a hot topic. I feel like it’s something we need to address and make more people aware of what to do and how to help those folks.
Also, Thursday (September 14th), we will be celebrating Marjorie Richardson’s 100th birth- day from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. [at HC Senior Services Center. It’s just going to be a kind of come-and-go. We’re going to have cake and punch, and I think Judge Roberts is going to do a proclamation for her.”
Morton also requested that the reimbursement for travel expenses be raised. It has been set at $25 a day for many years, and covers expenses for her to travel to conferences, etc. “I agree, Lona, it’s not a lot,” Roberts said. “I’m o.k. with raising that number.” The court will be approving a raised amount.
Director of Hancock County Libraries Tina Snyder provided a written and oral submission to the court, as required by KRS 65A.100. “The tax rate decision was made by the Hancock County Public Library Board on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023,” Snyder said. “The library tax rate for 2023/24 will be 11.2 cents per $100 assessed valuation of real property, which is lower than the previous year; 11.2 cents per $100 assessed valuation of personal property, which is lower than the previous year; 3.99 cents for motor vehicle, which is the same as the previous year; and the estimated anticipated revenue from these taxes is $1,053,954.
This chosen rate does not require a public hearing and is a reduced rate from the previous year. The libraries’ estimated budget for 2023/24 is $1,062,900.
I also included a couple of handouts that show library usage for fiscal year 2022/23. In your newsletter, on the back page there is an evaluation statement that tells how much money was saved by our community by utilizing library services and items we have available for free because of your tax dollars.
I’ve recently hired within the last 2 weeks, a new part- time person. I have another part-time person I’ll be hiring within the next 2 weeks. And, we are just finishing a paint project at the Hawesville Library to brighten us up a little bit in there and we’re going to be doing some re-upholstering of furniture.
In 2012 we made our first payment on our loan for the Hawesville construction project, and the last payment is scheduled for 2051, but we’ll be making that payment in December of 2023. I’m super excited about that, and that was all without a tax increase on the taxpayers.
The Lewisport loan, we’ve already started making payments on it, but we’re not allowed to make a principal-only payment on it for 5 years so we have opened a CD at Independence Bank for $125K so that it can star t gaining some interest.”
Road Dept. Report
Dave Tindle, HC Road Department Supervisor, said the wait for mowing tractors is making the work they need to do in the county difficult to do, and that they are getting behind more and more all the time because of that shortage. He told the court that Vastwood Park is in need of 2 loads of dirt for on the west side, and that he and crewmen were told they could get the dirt for free, as long as they can pick it up and haul it. The road department will be taking the track hoe to pick up the dirt and haul it to the park. They will also be getting a load of dirt for behind the road department shop.
HC Animal Shelter Director & County Dog Warden Ronnie York stated, “We’re still pretty much full. Right now, I’ve got 15 in there and 6 more on the way today. The Rabies Clinic is set for October 4th, from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Health Department. That is good for Perry County residents too. We’re only doing 200 vaccines though.”
Judge Roberts stated the Occupational Tax amount at $1,105,811, saying that’s down from last year’s, which was $1,308,000. That was approved by the court.
“Total collected for Au- gust is $1,579,” Roberts said. That amount was approved by the court.
Mike Baker, Director of Economic Development for the HC Industrial Foundation, stated, “Industry in the county is pretty steady. No big news there. The good news is they continue to invest and we’re seeing that at Southwire. They are really busy.
We’re continuing to have talks with Green River Distillery. They keep finalizing their plans and we’re working with them on discussing potential financial tools that could help them and help the county, and getting them to invest even more.
We met with them this weekend and they are looking at 8 rickhouses, plus the renovation of the Dal-Tile plant. Rickhouse #1 is full – 58,800 barrels. It may not be totally full, but it’s get- ting there. Rickhouse #2 is under construction. They have at least one floor of that framed up and they are continuing to go pretty fast with that. They assured us this week that the bourbon industry is going [well]– there is no slow-down in sight for that.
GRADD has a great pro- gram for entrepreneurs and small business. It’s a revolving loan fund. They are re- ally promoting that. We’re working with a couple of businesses in Hancock County right now on that program. It’s a program that allows small business to expand and grow or even get started where they may not be able to go to the bank and get the entire amount they need to start their business.
By Jennifer Wimmer