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2nd road OK’d for race, trash charge denied


The Letcher County Fiscal Court has voted to add another road to the course for a second road rally to held September 18 and 19. The court authorized the closing of Tolson Creek Road in the Roxana area of Letcher County and using it as an additional racecourse.

Registration for the rally will be Wednesday, September 16, in Whitesburg, and while “recce,” or reconnaissance, of the routes will be held that Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, the actual rally will be on September 19.

The rally will also be held along Little Shepherd Trail again. The sanctioning body, the National Automobile Sports Association, has not posted maps of the routes, however advertising for the rally says it will include more than 150 miles. The Tolson Creek Road will be closed to provide multiple courses for rally cars to drive.

At a special meeting called for August 31, Judge/Executive Terry Adams said that by adding Tolson Creek Road as a second course, the race can be expanded and as many as 70 cars will be able to participate.

Fewer than 20 drivers participated in the first race due to the pandemic, the size of the course, and the short time between the announcement and the event. As of Tuesday, 13 drivers had signed up for the September race.

Adams said he doesn’t see any problems with adding a second course, and that multiple courses will allow for more participants, and draw more spectators. He said it will be good for local businesses and will also promote tourism in the county.

Adams told the court there are no houses on Tolson Creek Road and said the race promoters were extremely competent and professional at the Raven Rock Rally held August 8. Following the event, Adams said the county received a good deal of highly favorable news coverage for the hospitality shown to the participants and the natural beauty of the region. He added that the overall results of the rally were excellent.

At the court’s regular August meeting, Paul Browning Jr., a Harlan County magistrate who worked with promoters and Letcher Fiscal Court to stage the first rally, said that after the Raven Rock Rally was over, he and the rally promoters inspected the course and were impressed by the respectful way the rally participants and support crews treated the trail. Browning said that in their inspection they only found one soft drink can that may have been left by a participant, however Katy Eagle, who owns land around the entrance to the trail, has complained of finding face masks, latex gloves, water bottles and other littler on an offshoot of the trail that leads to her cabin. She blames the litter on people parked in the road that day, though there is no proof from where the litter came.

Judge Adams said he had also checked the site out and hadn’t found any trash. Adams and Browning agreed there was no damage to the road, and the rally had left no footprint on the mountaintop.

Tolson Creek Road connects with Highway 588 in the area of Tolson Branch, along the North Fork of the Kentucky River. It was formed by joining Southeast Road and Big Branch. It joins Lilley Cornett Road before it intersects with Highway 588. The rally will be held on September 18 and 19. Tolson Road does not join any of the Lilley Cornett Woods property, the manager of the property said.

In other business, Letcher County Sheriff Mickey Stines presented his statement of charges, credits, payments, and amounts due for 2019 property and franchise tax assessments for October 1, 2019, through May 2020. The statement was accompanied by an independent accountant’s compilation report signed by Whitesburg accountant Dennis Wayne Fleming.

The statement showed a total of $6,739,938 in collections, pending audit, with a balance due of $5,832,358. Following payments of $5,831,895 made to the state and county agencies, $463 is due to the sheriff.

The unmined minerals settlement for March 1, 2020, through June 30, 2020, showed total receipts of $913,947 against total credits of receipts $59,284, with a balance of $854,663, less $35,511 in commissions, this left a balance due of $819,132. After payments, the sheriff owes the county 33 cents.

The court also voted unanimously to approve a resolution to lease two new Mack trucks for county use.

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