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Trimble County Fiscal Court on Monday approved the first payment of $7,500 as half of the annual fee required of each county to be part of the I-71 Corridor Regional Task Force, Inc.
The judge-executives from Carroll, Gallatin, Henry, Oldham, Owen and Trimble counties formed the organization in June with the goal of expanding local businesses and employment.
The Task Force has hired a regional coordinator who will be primarily responsible for identifying and cataloguing economic development sites in the region, maintaining and coordinating economic and industrial data, overseeing the start of a regional website with this information, and implementing strategies for business retention, expansion, and recruitment.
Each county made a commitment to contribute $15,000 annually to the task force budget. The funds will cover the coordinator’s salary and other operating expenses, Trimble County Judge-Executive Jerry Powell said.
Powell said the counties who stand to reap the most from the organization are Carroll, Gallatin, Henry and Oldham counties because they already have the infrastructure in place for manufacturing companies.
“Our biggest hope is going to be that they pull in plants so that we can get jobs for people in Trimble County,” Powell said. He plans to meet with the coordinator to discuss the possibility of luring smaller businesses into Trimble County.
Trimble County Attorney questioned why each county is paying equally.
“I thought it should have been based on population, Powell said, “but I wasn’t there in the beginning when this all came together.”
“I don’t think we can afford to not be on board if something does come up,” Magistrate Kirby Melvin said, “then we’d be on the back burner and never get a shot at anything.”
From LaGrange to Louisville I can see development, Trimble County Attorney Perry Arnold said, “but from LaGrange to Carrollton I just don’t see that happening. I can see it up around Kentucky Speedway.”
Fiscal court agreed to the purchase of replacement equipment for the Courthouse heating system. Out of five heating coils in the boiler unit three have gone bad, Powell said. The coils were installed during the courthouse renovation in 2000. Currently there is no heat in the upstairs courtroom. The sheriff’s office on the first floor of the building is also without heat.
The court elected to order five coils and install all five at the same time rather than replace three and the other two go bad in the near future. The coils will be purchased at a cost of $800 each. Installation will be $500 for each coil. Delivery of new coils will be in approximately three weeks.
The heat and air system in the building has been the source of ongoing aggravation for the county for several years, the magistrates said. The replacement of the coils is likely a temporary fix with the winter season looming.
“We’ve spent thousands of dollars on thermostats,” Magistrate Kirby Melvin said.
“I think it would be a good idea if we would look into a grant to try to replace it,” Magistrate Nolan Hamilton said.
The county also approved renewing the dead animal removal contract with Harmon Dead Animal Removal, the contract period running from July 1, 2012 through June 30, 2013. Trimble County Fiscal Court and the Trimble County Conservation district provide free removal of animal carcasses. The telephone number for Harmon Dead Animal Removal is 1-859-567-2111.