County may have partner in new cellular tower deal

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By Thomas Barr

 CLERMONT -- Bullitt County officials might have both a new stream of revenue and a way to improve its emergency communications.

While there is nothing in writing, Bullitt Fiscal Court gave  its  blessing to allow the AT&T Mobility team look at the feasibility of installing a cellular tower near its animal shelter on Highway 245.

Steve Carr, a representative with the company, said there is work being done to look at areas where land can be acquired to erect cellular towers to improve communications for its wireless customers.

Part of the research was finding an area off Highway 245 that might be suitable for such a facility.

Carr said the standard lease would be for five years with four renewable options.

Before moving forward with feasibility studies, Carr wanted to gauge the interest of the court members.

There was no opposition.

County attorney Monica Robinson said it appeared the officials were open to listen to any proposals.

At the same time, she said the county is looking to improve its Central Dispatch system.

Carr said the company would be willing to talk with the county about sharing the facilities, if the opportunity arises.

Recently, the county was approached about radio issues, especially in the northern part of the county.

Emergency Management supervisor Mike Phillips has been researching solutions to those problems.

In other business:

*The rezoning request by Salt River Investments for 57 acres off Highway 61, just north of Highway 245, was unanimously approved.

The request would rezone the property from Agricultural and B-1 Highway Business to IL Light Industrial.

During the planning commission hearing, representatives from the company envisioned several large warehouse distribution facilities on the property.

When Bullitt Fiscal Court held its public hearing, a youth minister from Bardstown Junction Baptist Church opposed the rezoning  due to concerns over drainage.

Those same concerns were voiced over a rezoning on property surrounding the church. That case recently was settled on the side of the developer in Bullitt Circuit Court.

*A rezoning request by Mike and Karen Robey for 1.6 acres on Lodie Lane was approved.

The request is to rezone the property from R-2 Residential and Agricultural to R-2 Residential.

There was no opposition.

*Advertisment for bids will be taken to repair steps on the front porch of the Bullitt County Judicial Center.

Due to the lowest quote being over $20,000, Robinson said the request had to be placed for formal bids.

A number of the front steps have become loose and dangerous. That section has been roped off from usage.

*Approval was unanimously granted for the creation of a merit board by the sheriff's office.

Under the system, all but the highest ranking supervisors would be protected from termination without having some recourse.

Det. Floyd Cook said the deputies are out protecting the public every day and this is a way to help protect their livelihood.

"It means a lot to us," said Cook.

Mike Higgins, a resident of Fox Chase, said he felt the protection was good for the deputies and good for the people of the county.

In the past, a changing of the administration  could mean a turnover in the law enforcement agency. Under the merit system, there would be a board who could consider any request by a deputy on matters of discipline or termination.

Many cities have similar civil service systems.

*The court approved a listing of employee pay raises.

Deputy judge Lisa Craddock said that while the money was placed in the budget for a 50-cent raise for all employees, there was nothing denoting others who may have received more.

Treasurer Kenann Sharp requested a formal list to make sure employees were given the proper pay raises.

*Magistrate Robert Hunt said he had no problem with the reappointment of John Jarrett to the Mount Washington Fire Board. However, he would like some input with the county judge on future appointments in his area in the future.

County judge Melanie Roberts said she had no problem listening to any input.

Appointments are recommended by the county judge but fiscal court must approve them. In the past, some appointments have become difficult.

The next meeting of Bullitt Fiscal Court will be on Tuesday, July 16, at 9:30 a.m. at the courthouse. The public is invited to attend.