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There has been quite a bit going on around the county this week.  One of the most frightening was a patient/prisoner was taken from Three Forks Jail this last weekend and is in very serious condition at an area hospital with either Streptococcal Pneumonia or Bacterial Meningitis, or both. The medical team is still awaiting culture growth to determine the cause of the illness. As a precaution, Three Forks Jail has been shut down to visitors and is cleaning every surface. The District Health Department is involved along with area hospitals.  One inmate and staff person have shown similar symptoms and are being treated as a precaution.  Ambulance personnel involved in the transport have been preemptively given antibiotics as a precaution.  The ambulance involved has been cleaned with bleach.  The Jail, Health Dept. Ambulance Service, and local hospitals are all responding like the professionals they are to address the problem and protect the public.  If you have been to the jail in the last week and feel ill, contact your physician and let them know.  It is always better to be overly cautious. 

FEMA was in town this week and Solid Waste Coordinator, Angie Williams, EMA Director, Jon Allen, and Road Supervisor, Kevin McIntosh, were working with teams to update the damage, show the work that has been completed, and ensure all the local data is correctly put into the new computerized reporting system “Grants Portal”.  The process has been enlightening for all and the team complimented the Lee County Road crew for their impressive efforts already to fix some of the issues.  

The work on blacktopping several roads in the area using the $730,000 in “Governor’s Discretionary Funding” has been completed and the magistrates and road department are creating a list of new roads to use the $300,000 we have for blacktopping roads using “Flex Funding”.  We hope to have that list completed in the next week and begin work soon to complete it before the end of Fall.  

Mowing and brush cutting continue along with ditch cleaning.  The road crew is hitting the roads every day at 7 a.m. and getting as much as possible done each day.  We are currently limited by the amount of equipment we have but are looking at adding a brush cutter and bush hog to the equipment inventory. That will go a long way toward helping our crew of 11 get all 300+ miles of County Road covered more efficiently.  

Lee County is putting together a list of excess equipment and vehicles to sell online as a way to clean up storage areas and raise funds. It will be announced when it happens, and local buyers can bid online for the equipment.  Along with road equipment, we are looking to purchase a four-wheel drive truck with a cap for the Coroner, Tim Fox and Asst. Coroner Josh Hagan. They have been busy the last few months and the old ambulance they have been using is not reliable.  

Last week, I also sat on a Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD) personnel board and we renegotiated a contract with the KRADD Director, Michelle Allen.  We will present our recommendation to the entire KRADD board at our August meeting for a vote.

The Lee County Library Board met last Wednesday, and they have a General Fund balance of around $113,000 and a building fund of around $116,000. They have CDs valued at about 1.3 million. June’s income for the Library was $18, 616.05 and expenditures were $18,206.41.  The number of books circulated rose from 23,137 in 2017 to 23,142 in 2018. The board did not vote on the tax rate. 

The “Bright Leadership Kentucky organization had a course last week and I joined Dedra Brandenburg, Lee County Tourism Director, Joe Crawford, Estill County Economic Development Director, and Ethan Moore of WVLK to address the group of leaders from across Eastern Kentucky. We spoke as a diverse group of people who are all graduates of the LEAP program, a leadership program for Lee, Estill, Powell, Jackson and Wolfe Counties.  It was a great opportunity for us to talk about past and ongoing initiatives with LEAP, but also created new contacts with other leaders from the region, which included deputy judges, magistrates, and business leaders.  

Deputy Judge, Pam Barrett, went to the Headstart open house and, on behalf of the Lee County Fiscal Court, gave out crayons and contact information for local agencies to the new students and their parents.

On Friday, The Lee County School System, held “Readifest” at Lee County Elementary.  This annual harbinger of school days celebrated it’s 26th birthday.  The halls and gymnasium were filled with organizations and “goodies” that would brighten the school year for any elementary school student. And there were hundreds who benefitted from the outpouring of love and support shown by the organizations in attendance.  Family Service Center Director, Sherry Lanham, has worked with scores of organizations over the decades and been at the helm the entire time and been part of its growth and popularity.  

There was a truck fire Monday at the Beartrack Grocery.  It was put out quickly and efficiently and is a reminder there is a group of people who selflessly give of their time and skills to run toward danger and protect the rest of us, the local volunteer fire departments.  And they truly do it out of the goodness of their hearts and a firm belief in their desire to serve the community. Thank you for your service.

Remember to follow what is going on in the county on the County Facebook Page, Lee_County_Kentucky_Government.  

As we struggle to find the future we want for our community, I think the words of Henry Ford are worth revisiting. We are on a journey.

"Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." --Henry Ford

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