Whitesburg KY

Court will follow bid laws on Campbell’s Branch job

The Letcher Fiscal Court voted last week to follow state law and advertise for bids for the construction of two side-by-side buildings to house a satellite fire station and a new community center at Campbell’s Branch.

Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward told the court at a special-called meeting October 30 that if the fire station and community center were built in one structure the cost of construction would total more than $20,000 and by law would have to be advertised for bid.

Original plans called for a satellite fire station at Campbell’s Branch in which $40,000 was allocated from coal severance tax funds. Plans were later changed to include construction of a community center to be built beside the fire station.

Gary Rogers, a representative of Letcher Fire and Rescue, said the project could be done in three phases. He said the first phase would be pouring concrete, the second phase would be to build the 32 x 36 structure to house the fire department and the third phase would be to build the community center.

Rogers said other contractors would be needed to do plumbing and electrical work.

“One guy is not getting it all and is not taking it all in one deal,” said Rogers. “He is taking it as he does it which means if he poured the concrete he is going to give me an invoice and we’re going to pay him.”

Letcher County Attorney Harold Bolling told the court that the project cannot be broken up into components to get around bidding.

“You can’t break them up into pieces to avoid the bid law,” said Bolling.

Even though the fire department building and the community center building are two different structures, District Five Magistrate Wayne Fleming suggested putting the whole project up for bid.

“You’re better off to bid everything out,” said Fleming. “That way you got no questions about it. Put it behind you.”

Although District Two Magistrate Archie Banks said advertising for bids would slow down the project, he agreed that bidding the whole project will “get rid of the perception that you are doing something wrong.”

In other business, the court voted 5-1 to approve a resolution asking the state to name a section of KY 588 at Ice as a coal haul road and place the road in the state’s extended weight program. The court took the action after entrepreneurs Bill Collins and Gary Collins said they want to use the road to recover coal from a slate dump.

Ward cast the only vote against the request, saying he feared the project would cause too much damage to a bridge on the road.

“I’m going to vote no because of the bridge,” said Ward. “I’m concerned about the bridge.”

“We don’t want to see nothing happen to that bridge,” said Bill Collins.

“You’d be better off to leave that bridge out of the conversation,” said Fleming.

Terry Adams, of Pert Creek, told the court he is going to clean up an old slate pile on the right fork of Johnson’s Fork at Premium and asked the court for a letter allowing him to use Johnson’s Fork road to haul the debris.

“That road is so narrow in places,” said Ben West, a Johnson’s Fork resident. “You really have to get familiar with the places to back up. To me the safety issue is so great. If they have an alternate route they are proposing that’s the route they should take.”

Adams said he is talking to property owners to work out an alternate route through Beetree Fork and Hollybush for the Abandoned Mine Land (AML) project.

“That is a better route and that is what we are hoping to do,” said Adams.

“Your best bet is to try to work it out through the back side,” said Ward.

“I wouldn’t want to cause these people problems,” said Adams.

District Four Magistrate Keith Adams told Terry Adams he would help him talk to property owners to get permission to go through Beetree Fork and Hollybush.

The court also:

• awarded a bid for playground equipment for Kingscreek Park to Legacy Playgrounds for $25,542. Letcher County Parks and Recreation Director Derek Barto said children in the community picked out the equipment that they wanted.

• voted unanimously to give $1,000 for the Remote Area Medical (RAM) Health Expedi- tion organized by the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD). The event is set for December 6 and 7 at the Knott County Sportsplex. Registration will begin at 6 a.m. both days. Services, which will be on a first come, first serve basis, will be provided by volunteer doctors, nurses, dentists, ophthalmologists, optometrists, dental hygienists, nurse practitioners and other trained health care professionals.

Free services for adults and children include dental cleanings, fillings and extractions. The uninsured, underinsured, unemployed and those who cannot afford to pay can also receive free complete eye exams and prescription glasses. Medical services include specialists, bone density, blood work, cholesterol, diabetes, pulmonary functions, medication assistance and cancer screenings.

Persons wishing more information may call 606-436- 3158.

• transferred $50,000 from the road and bridge fund to the general funds.

“Our general fund is real light until our tax money comes through,” said Ward.

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