Fiscal court considers sewer project, health board appointment

Published 9:48 am Friday, July 15, 2022

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A Clark County Fiscal Court meeting that started Wednesday morning and ended that afternoon saw a discussion on critical local issues.

However, the one garnering the most debate was easily the update on what would take place regarding the Rockwell Rd. sewer project.

In the end, by a 4-3 vote, the court approved the transfer of $3 million in ARPA funds to the Clark County Sanitation District for the project.

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Magistrates Travis Thompson and Robert Blanton, and Clark County Judge/Executive Branham were the three “no” votes. Initially, they requested that the matter be tabled for a discussion at the next meeting approximately two weeks from now.

Addressing concerns that the transferred funds are a substantial amount of money and urging the need to act quickly, Magistrate Chris Davis – one of four “yes” votes along with Magistrates Daniel Konstantopolous and Greg Elkins.

“My understanding with Magistrate Konstantopoulos, who talked to AT & T [is that] there should [still] be more than enough to take care of our rural broadband project,” said Davis. “Even with this transfer, there’s going to be more than enough funds for that.”

At least one Clark County resident – former Magistrate Sheila McCord – had spoken to the board earlier in the meeting regarding related concerns.

“They are repairs that are needed and upgrades, but at the expense of ARPA money and tax dollars, people are really upset,” said McCord. “There are other financial avenues that you all can turn to finance this project.”

Utilizing the short-term option presented, it is estimated that the project will take between two to three years to complete.

In addition, among other items, Magistrate Konstantopoulos was appointed to the Clark County Board of Health.

The appointment of Travis Thompson was considered, but – citing concerns that Magistrate Thompson will not be returning to his current position in 2023 and noting that a magistrate commonly fills position – a motion to prepare an order for appointment failed.

Among other presentations, former police officer Tony Kirk – who helps run the home incarceration program featuring over 100 individuals – spoke with the court during the meeting.

The present grant that he and the program are working with expires on Dec. 31st, and he is requesting an extension.

“We have an opportunity to fund the grant after that. We want to leave it up to the body and see where you’re at”, Kirk said. “I think this is very beneficial for our county.”

While no decision has officially been made, the matter will be considered.

“As a body, we’ll try to work with Tony and see what we can come up with,” Judge Branham said.