During the August meeting of the Johnson County Fiscal Court, the court approved an updated affiliation order between the Johnson County Fiscal Court and local emergency management director Gary McClure, as well as the W.R. Castle Fire Department (WRCFD) regarding the services they provide.

These services are similar to those provided by other fire and rescue squads in the county, such as the Rockhouse and Oil Springs volunteer fire departments.

McClure said the reason for this update is because the WRCFD recently received a donation of an inflatable boat and has also been able to purchase

personal protective equipment for swiftwater rescue.

“So Kentucky Emergency Management has a grant program, okay, so it’s open now and WR is going to request more of that type of equipment,” said McClure. Because they will be applying for the grant, the department’s mission statement had to be changed to indicate that they will respond to swiftwater emergencies.

Other announcements and items discussed included:

• Ongoing road projects throughout the county, such as roadside mowing and brush trimming, as well as 21 railing and cribbing projects, 18 of which are to be reimbursed by FEMA. There is a push to complete these road projects before blacktop season ends so that monetary reimbursements can be collected.

• An update on solid waste management highlighting roadside cleanup efforts that have generated 1,900 bags of garbage along 95 miles of roadways so far this year. These efforts have been led by jailer Steve Rose and Solid Waste Coordinator Monica Spriggs, as well as community service and inmate participants.

• An upcoming application for a grant that, if awarded, will cover 35 percent of the cost for a new vehicle for the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department.

• Another upcoming application for a grant that, if awarded, will cover 35 percent of the cost for a new vehicle for the Johnson County coroner that will be retrofitted to better suit his needs.

• The Johnson County Fiscal Court Treasurer’s monthly financial report of revenues and expenditures and how that relates to the budget on an ongoing basis. The fiscal year-end report was also presented and approved.

• An approved request for the transfer of $40,000 from the general fund to the jail fund.

• An approval for an request for proposals for a consultant to develop a community strategic plan, which will support economic development in the community. Funding for the plan will come from a $7,800 grant awarded by the Appalachian Regional Commission. The plan will be completed in around six months, said Johnson County Judge/Executive Mark McKenzie.  

• Commissioner Kathy Adams was appointed to the jail board to fulfill the remaining four-year-term of Joe Mills, who recently resigned.

The next meeting of the Johnson County Fiscal Court will be held Sept. 9.

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