The Madison County Fiscal Court is taking the lead in applying for a transportation grant that would improve USBR 21, a stretch of highway that extends from Ohio to Florida.
The court will apply for a grant that totals $80,000. The City of Berea, City of Richmond and the Madison County Fiscal Court have already contributed $1,000 for the project and 10 more Kentucky counties have agreed to help contribute as part of a 20 percent match toward the project.
Most of the monies will be used for signs to be placed along the route. If the grant is received, a total of $64,000 will be awarded for the improvements that will help aid drivers and bicyclists.
“It’s a really good benefit for us, especially from a tourism standpoint. … This puts Madison County on the map,” Judge Executive Reagan Taylor said. “Bicycling is a big activity and there’s a lot of people that do it.”
Magistrate John Tudor agreed.
“Anytime we can receive funding (is good),” he said. “I’ve got friends and family members that ride bicycles and anytime we can promote safety trails for bikes and mark those trails, to let not only the bikers know, but the public know that there are bikers ahead of them (on the highway) and keep the riders safe on the highway, I’m for it.”
The court also approved a resolution to partner with the Lexington Fayette County Urban County Government to apply for an opioid grant, part of the national dislocated grant program, “designed for persons who have experienced opioid addition to prove clear pathways and job opportunities to strengthen the economy in counties in the Central Kentucky area, including Madison County.”
The program would be of no cost to the county and “being in the program is in the best interests of the citizens of Madison County.” If approved, the resolution states that Madison County will participate in the program with the LFUCG. Taylor said the grant allows up to 30 participants to take part in the pilot program and Taylor would choose who could participate in the county.
“It’s a good opportunity for us to just try to take that one baby step into trying to combat this opioid crisis and this drug epidemic,” Taylor said. “It’s a Fayette County initiative that we’re going to be able to benefit from.”
In other business:
• The court approved first reading of zone change from UC-1 to UC-5 at 1692 Berea Road. The change has already passed through the county planning and zoning commission.
• Magistrates approved final reading of an updated animal control ordinance and resolutions on the hiring of an independent legal counsel for the planning commission and refunding the purchase of the Chase Bank Building not to exceed $7,500. The court also approved a resolution regarding a Build Grant application.
• The court approved an agreement with the Southern Health Partners Food for services at the Madison County Detention Center. The contract is for $400,000.08 for the current fiscal year and based on 375 inmates per day.
• Taylor and the court rejected a bid from Triple Crown Concrete because of the cost and will re-bid on a recommendation from road department administrator Scott Shepherd.
• The court went into executive session for approximately 20 minutes but didn’t take action in a personnel matter.
• Lloyd Jordison gave the court an update on Safety City. Jordison said 448 children — mostly in kindergarten through first-grade — and 14 adults visited the educational facility last year. He said the number was down from last year because of inclement weather.
Next meeting: July 23, 9:30 a.m., Madison County Courthouse.