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Grant to upgrade Carroll County 911 system

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By Sharon Graves

By SHARON GRAVES

The News-Democrat

Carroll County will receive a $63,000 grant from the Kentucky Office of Homeland Security for improvements to the county’s 911 system.

Randy Tharp, the county’s 911 supervisor and Carrollton’s fire chief, said the funds will be used to replace the system’s telephone controller. Installed with the rest of the system in 1994, Tharp said the controller is becoming obsolete.

“It’s getting to the point where it will be difficult to get replacement parts for our current system,” he said.

The controller is what displays information on the monitors for dispatchers when a call comes in, telling them the phone number and the address of the caller. It also allows them to open a file on every call received, Tharp said.

The original grant, submitted by Joan Moore, executive director of the Carroll County Community Development Corporation, had sought $82,999 for the project. The $20,000 not included in the grant was to pay for installation, configuration and training, Moore said.

Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson said the court will discuss the need for the additional funds in future meetings, but said the county may need to pony up. “If we’re going to get that much money [in grants], we just might have to invest a little of our own money.”

Thomas L. Preston, executive director of the Kentucky Homeland Security office, said they received requests totaling nearly $66 million, but received only $7.6 million in funding from the federal government this year.

KU ordinances approved

Fiscal Court voted unanimously to approve two ordinances that will ultimately provide cost savings for Kentucky Utilities projects. The first ordinance allows the termination of certain bond insurance policies that secures $50 million in outstanding environmental-facilities revenue bonds from 2004 and $54 million in refunding bonds from 2006-07. The second allows the issuance of $96 million in pollution-control revenue-refunding bonds.

“I’ve read the whole thing and it is right; it holds the county harmless, and there is no liability to the county,” County Attorney Jim Monk said following the public hearing that preceded the vote.

Asked by Magistrate Mark Bates how KU will benefit now from the two ordinances, KU attorney Spencer Harper explained: “It will allow the company to move away from a very high interest rate as a result of the bad insurance and a number of factors.”The “bad insurance,” Harper said, was purchased to help lower KU’s interest rates on the bonds. With the recent financial crisis, the insurance actually is causing a burden for KU, he said.

“Without the insurance, KU could save $6 million per annum in lowered costs, and over the life of the loan could save $75 million,” he said. “This is money that would have to be paid by the rate payers [consumers].”

Getting rid of the insurance merely will lower KU’s costs, and is endorsed by the state public service commission, Harper said.

In other business:

Tomlinson told the court he expects to receive estimates for replacing the Black Rock creek bridge on Lewis Road, east of Ghent, and said work to replace the deck of the Kentucky River bridge between Carrollton and Prestonville remains on schedule to be completed by the end of November.

The county will receive its first installment of road salt for the winter – 300 tons – on Nov. 17. Tomlinson said the county soon will receive a shipment of cinders, as well.

Additionally, Tomlinson also said he recently met with State Rep. Rick Rand, D-47th District, and Gov. Steve Beshear to discuss securing 25 acres of land across from General Butler State Resort Park on State Hwy. 227.

Cardinal Hill Health Care System of Lexington, Ky., which owns the property and the adjacent Camp Kysoc property, has agreed to sell the land, which Tomlinson had hoped would be the site for the expansion of Carrollton’s Jefferson Community and Technical College campus.

Given the state’s financial situation, money for the expansion is not available in the state budget.

However, Tomlinson said he met with Rand and Beshear hoping to secure the site for the campus, should money for the project become available.

Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold “Shorty” Tomlinson speaks to Cartmell Elementary students, faculty and staff Monday, Nov. 3, from the steps of the Capitol in Frankfort, Ky. The group traveled to the state capitol to celebrate the signing of a proclamation making Nov. 2-8 Individuals with Disabilities Week in the commonwealth. The document was signed by Gov. Steve Beshear, who was campaigning for candidates on the eve of Election Day and was unable to attend.