The Wilmore City Council suspended the rules and voted Monday night to approve sending a check of $4,462 to the Jessamine County Fiscal Court from the already stressed general fund in an effort to recoup federal aid needed after the 2009 ice storm.
The horrendous, now almost infamous ice storm ravaged Jessamine County in January 2009, and its financial tolls are still being felt.
“During that time, the three government bodies of Wilmore, Nicholasville and the Jessamine County Fiscal Court locked arm-in-arm for a coordinated effort to handle the disaster,” said Dave Carlstedt, Wilmore utilities and public works director.
The fiscal court took the lead and bore the nearly $1.24 million cost on its shoulders, Carlstedt said.
Federal relief funds to compensate the county’s cost were expected from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), yet the agency only projected the cost at $754,344.
The estimation by FEMA was based on the lowest bid of a contractor the county did not use, Carlstedt said.
The fiscal court is now locked in a legal battle to recoup nearly a half million dollars in relief funds denied by FEMA from the costs to repair the damages of the ice storm.
To continue the fiscal court’s efforts, the Wilmore City Council must pay their percentage of the costs.
Wilmore bares 13.8 percent of the total costs, or $171,699.
But under FEMA’s estimation, Wilmore only owes $104,099, of which 90 percent of was reimbursed, leaving $10,409.
FEMA also gave several allowances for administrative costs, which cut the costs down to $4,462.
By the city council fronting the fiscal court $4,462, it will progress the county in its appeal to get the full $1.24 million in relief reimbursement instead only $754,344.
Carlstedt said Wilmore could see the refund come back before the next fiscal-year cycle June 31, 2013.
“We need to move forward on this,” Wilmore Mayor Harold Rainwater said. “And we need to thank the fiscal court.”
In other business, the city council:
• approved the finalization of annexation paperwork on nine properties. The paperwork will be sent to Frankfort for placement on the state map. Only a handful of annexation corrections are left in Wilmore before the state map accurately portrays the correct population and area of the city. Engineer John Horne expects all properties to be ready to send to Frankfort by the end of November.
• heard from resident Rudy Medlock. He asked the council to look into creating a quiet zone for train traffic. On average, nearly 30 trains travel through Wilmore per day and all use a horn at the intersection of the track and Main Street. Medlock stated the train should not use its horn in the center of town. Rainwater disagreed and told the story of a child who was struck by a train and died. Ever since then, the trains use a horn at that intersection. Medlock also stated he did not like that the train company left its “junk,” or industrial equipment, in the middle of town. The council assured Medlock they would look into the matter.