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Sun, Mar 26, 2017 06:02 PM
Wednesday, March 8, 2017 issue
2003-06-18 tracking around the region section
Magoffin court tables plan for jail transports
Magistrates say sheriff, jailer should have input
Leigh Ann Ward
SALYERSVILLE — As mandated by state law and in an effort to prevent complications with transporting prisoners from Magoffin County to the Big Sandy Regional Detention Center, Magoffin County Judge-Executive Bill May presented a prisoner transportation plan to the fiscal court for approval at Tuesday's regular meeting.

After reading the plan, which designated exact prisoner transportation duties to the sheriff and the jailer, fiscal court members decided to table it. They expressed concern over not having seen the plan prior to the meeting and not having consulted with the sheriff and the jailer to seek their comments.

May told the court he had spoken with both Jailer Gene Helton and Sheriff Bob Jordan and that local attorney Jeff Lovely had researched the plan. Lovely told the court that the duties given to the sheriff in the proposed plan were mandated by state statute and that the plan did not require any extra duties from the sheriff's office.

Helton was not present at the meeting, but Jordan spoke to the court about his concern over delays in answering complaints caused by having to transport prisoners to other counties.

May maintained that it was the responsibility of both the sheriff and the jailer to transport prisoners and made reference to hearing complaints from "both sides" about the current transportation of prisoners.

Several court members said they were concerned that the plan would interfere with the sheriff's office's ability to answer complaints, asking that it be tabled and reconsidered in a special meeting after the court had time to discuss the plan with the jailer and the sheriff.

No date was set for the special meeting.

Also during Tuesday's meeting, a motion was brought before the court to hire Jill Whitaker Johnson as the new county treasurer to replace Mary Arnett, whose contract expires July 1. Court members asked that the appointment also be tabled to allow further discussion and that it be taken up at a special meeting before the July 1 deadline.

In tabling the motion to hire a new county treasurer, the court also tabled the re-assignment of Arnett to the payroll clerk's position.

In other business Tuesday, the fiscal court opened bids for various supplies, including pipeline, gravel and gravel hauling, but failed to award several bids after finding that some of them were missing information about their insurance policies.

Bids were also opened for pipeline, rock, and lumber. The Rock Group was awarded the bid for rock and pipeline. Harold Joseph was awarded the bid for lumber at a cost of $400 per 1,000 square feet of red or white oak.

Also Tuesday:

• The court discussed Ghost Branch Road, informing concerned parties that a surveyor had been to the property but was unable to conduct a survey due to the heavy amounts of rain. The situation surrounding Ghost Branch Road involves a county road on which the county has a 30 foot right-of-way which, after being surveyed, will be opened and will allow a displaced family to move their trailer onto property they purchased several months ago. May told the court that the county would also maintain the road.

• The court also discussed P.D. Branch Road and decided that the road needed to be fixed after hearing that residents living there had to drive through the creek.

• The court approved a request for the county surveyor to establish right-of-way on Patton Branch Road;

• The court was presented with a non-exclusive cable franchise agreement from Howard's TV Cable. Rick Howard told the court that his company needed the franchise agreement in order to apply for federal grants which will allow it to run fiber optics throughout the county.

• Doug Hennig addressed the court about Collinsworth Branch, asking court members to intervene in any capacity to allow him and his wife access to their property. Hennig's property is currently land-locked, and without the use of the road, which has been blocked by a gate, he said he will have to access his property from Morgan County. Hennig said he has been barred from his property for almost two years. The property has been handed down through the Collinsworth family since the late 1800s and is owned by Hennig's wife, Helen Collinsworth Hennig.

All court members were present for Tuesday's meeting.

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