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Greg Copley from the UK Center for Applied Energy Research spoke with County Judge Executive Shane Gabbard and Magistrates Danny Todd, Garvin Baker, and Dale Vaughn at the regular monthly meeting of the Jackson County Fiscal Court regarding ways that the county could save money by improving energy efficiency.

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The Jackson County Fiscal Court held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, November 18, 2019

The Jackson County Fiscal Court held its regular monthly meeting on Monday, November 18, 2019. The court heard from visitor, Greg Copley from the UK Center for Applied Energy Research. Mr. Copley offered to provide assistance to the fiscal court in facilitating an energy audit of all the buildings and facilities owned and operated by the local government with the goal being the improvement of energy efficiency. UK CAER is working in communities across the Commonwealth to help local governmental agencies reduce their energy bills and improve their infrastructure. So far 20 City and Countys have upgraded their buildings and equipment to improve energy efficiency and reduce costs of operations. Copley offered a “Guaranteed Energy Savings Contract” whereby the reductions in costs associated with building, equipment and operation would be guaranteed to pay for expenditures associated with upgrades. Companies would be invited to do a walk-thru assessment and submit proposals and recommended scopes of work to the fiscal court. The service to the county would be free. The proposals wpould be free. The reviews would be free. Only if the county approved a proposal and scope of work with a specific company and signed a contract would there be any financial obligations incurred as a result. The fiscal court agreed to provide background data on utility expenditures allow the reviews to occur and proposals to be submitted. No commitments were involved on subsequent actions.

Judge Gabbard gave hios report and indicated that he looked forward to building conections with the new Governor’s administration. “I’m just hoping that the momentum we had going with our industrial park and economic development doesn’t get pushed back. It is encouraging that the new administration’s Economic Development Cabinet will be meeting with us here this Wednesday,” Judge Gabbard reported.

Sheriff Hays gave a report to the court and extended his condolensces to the Tillery family after a recent highway tragedy that took two lives. Sheriff Hays also wanted to recognize the passing of Alice Sexton and give thanks and recognition for her dedication and work as a 911 Dispatcher here in the county. Sheriff Hays remined everyone of the importance of wearing seat belts. “There are tons of excuses not to wear them but the simple fact remains: Seat belts can save lives!” Hays reminded everyone that the “Stuff the Cruiser” campaign will return this year. Thanks to generous donations the Sheriff, his deputies and the Constables in the county were able to supply gifts to children in 180 families last year. “This is a blessing for everyone,” Hays reported. “It helps those children that are in need. It feels good to give so it helps those that donate. It also helps our law enforcement officers because it allows us to interact with those we serve and protect in a good, positive way.”

The court entertained the notion of creating an ordinance that would allow ATV/UTV use on “all” County Roads. There already exists a 20 year old ordinance that permits their use on all county “gravel” roads. However, several of the old gravel roads have since been blacktopped and the need for use has grown with the current tourism and recreational focus on ATV/UTV off-road usage. Sheriff Hays quickly pointed out that all road, vehicle and traffic regulations must still be applied. County Attorney Ross Murray indicated that he would need to reserach the possible existence of a general prohibition in the Kentucky Revised Statutes. A cursory review need not reveal any such general prohibition. The item was tabled until futher research could be executed.

In a related matter, the court reviewed and approved a road maintenace proposal with the US Forest service. The fiscal court agreed to maintain the following Daniel Boone National Forest roads with Jackson County, KY: 1) Beginning at S-Tree Road past Sand Gap Park where the gravel begins continuing to Hwy 89, 2) From Hwy 89 to S-Tree Campground continuing to Bear Gap Road to where the gravel ends and 3) Renfro Loop area. With this agreement the US Forest Sevice agrees to: 1) Permit recreational vehicles including four-wheelers and side-bysides to operate on these roads and 2) supply gravel for the above listed roads. The agreement will be provided to the US Forest Service for their review and approval. The court also provided approval to purchase a small building to serve as a shelter for the Transfer Station Employees during inclement weather. The court also approved a 2019 EMA Program Funding Grant contract, the ned for purchasing a Roll-Off Truck for the transfer station (under $20,000 and to pay bill for discretionary road paving when it arrives.

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