Protests still strong over proposed Brooks Hill change

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 BROOKS - The message was much quicker and the number of speakers much less.

However, the message delivered over the proposed rezoning of five acres from Agricultural to Light Industrial on Brooks Hill Road was just a clear - the neighbors don’t want it.

Virgil Warren Jr. is seeking a rezoning on his property to allow for the continuation of the custom meat processing plant.

Attorney Mark Edison said the property is not suitable for farming and he only wanted to be brought into compliance for a business that has operated on the property for years.

He presented evidence that Boone’s Butcher Shop is located in a very populated residential area of Bardstown without complaints. With the restrictions agreed upon to the planning commission, Edison felt his client could be able to coexist in the community.

Edison also pointed to a winery that operates across the street to show that there are other non-agricultural and non-residential zones in the area.

However, several speakers differed in their opinions about the request.

Mike Hatzell, an attorney who is also the owner/operator of Brooks Hill Winery, said a major difference in the two situations is that his establishment follows all the rules.

That is not how Warren has operated as he has ignored the law for years.

“We can’t hardly stand the stink,” Hatzell said of the smell coming from the Warren property.

He said putting body parts into a dumpster, along with regular burning of the carcasses, makes for a very foul odor.

Jim Franke said the county needs to look down the road.

“A slaughterhouse does not belong in a residential neighborhood,” said Franke.

When the wind blows his way, things are very bad. Franke said Warren has slowed down some of his operations.

Donna Greenup said she couldn’t see her home on New Ed Quick Road because they would have a clear view of the slaughterhouse.

“We can see it all because the trees have been cut down,” said Greenup.

The final reading of the rezoning request will be held and determined at the Dec. 20 meeting.

*Needing to seek out a second contractor to complete the roof repairs on the old county jail, magistrate John Bradshaw received approval to spend up to $3,000 to complete the project.

*Approval was given to secure loan funding from the Kentucky Association of Counties for the lease of five vehicles.

Two will be used by the jail and the other three will be used by the emergency medical services.

Mike Phillips, director of emergency services, said that one of the current paramedics cars was involved in an accident and must be replaced. Also, the vehicles for his position and for the assistant emergency management director date back to the late 1990s and are costing a lot in maintenance.

Jailer Martha Knox said one would be a car for her position and the other used for transporting inmates.

The lease would be for five years.

However, magistrate Ruthie Ashbaugh was concerned about three vehicles for emergency services, especially the paramedics’ car.

Phillips said there would never be enough money to afford a paramedic on each of the five ambulance units in operation. Instead of the current 12 paramedics on staff, Phillips said it would take 20 to meet Ashbaugh’s goal.

Only two paramedics are typically on duty per shift, said Phillips. They use the vehicles to drive directly to the scene, where they will meet with the EMS crew.

If the county paid $25 an hour for paramedics, Phillips said, there would be no shortage. In the long run, he said having the cars are much more cost effective and better for the patients in terms of quicker response times.

The court unanimously agreed to lease the vehicles at a cost of $125,000 at the end of the five-year period.

*The court approved renewing the contract with Southern Health Partners.

Knox said the medical provider has done a wonderful job at the jail. The company has saved thousands of dollars in medical expenses due to their presence to examine and treat inmates.

*Knox resented a check for over $40,000 as the normal reimbursement from the jail.

The next meeting of Bullitt Fiscal Court will be on Tuesday, Dec. 20, at 9:30 a.m. at the courthouse. The public is invited.