Tuesday, County Attorney Daryl Day, who’d been asked to pursue a deed on 20-acres of land in the new Industrial Park by the Lincoln County Fiscal Court the last time they met, told the Magistrates that the Industrial Development Authority (IDA) would be willing to provide a deed to the land for a new jail if the county would forgive a $250,000 loan made to the IDA over a decade ago. Day told the Fiscal Court that the IDA valued the land at only $100,000, and said, “They are more than willing to give a $100,000 worth of land in exchange for $250,000 in debt forgiveness.
Both the City of Stanford and Lincoln County loaned a quarter of a million dollars to the IDA as a local contribution to a larger federal grant to develop industrial land in the county, but the terms of the federal grant stipulate that money can only be returned to the investors when property is sold, and proceeds from sales must be split evenly between the two civic bodies.
Day told the Magistrates that if the deal went through, the IDA would pay the City of Stanford $125,000. The money is in great need in Stanford which is faced with borrowing money to balance its budget or raise taxes.
Magistrate David Faulkner made a motion to commit the county to the deal but there was no second from his fellow magistrates so Judge Executive Bill Demrow seconded it. When put to a vote, only Faulkner voted for the deal, and Magistrates Adams, Padgett and Wilcher voted against it.
“I was surprised after the vote from the last meeting that it didn’t go anywhere. I’m disappointed it didn’t happen,” said Stanford Mayor Bill Miracle.
Faulkner said he too was disappointed the deal was turned down. “It was a win-win-win. We got land for the jail, the IDA would have gotten half its debt forgiven and Stanford would have gotten $125,000.”
In other business, Parks and Recreation Director Beth Boyle was in court Tuesday morning to ask the Fiscal Court for financial support to help her deter vandalism at the First Southern Veterans Park. Boyle told the court, that over the last four years, vandals have taken their toll on the park and, while most of the damage was below the deductible limit for insurance, it was costing her department a lot of money.
Over the years vandals have broken out the windows in the press box, uprooted maturing trees and destroyed the roof of a picnic gazebo.
The Fiscal Court asked Boyle to return with quotes for a video surveillance system and said they would compare those costs to hiring a security guard.
The Library Board debate spilled over into Fiscal Court when two members of the public asked to speak about the board’s alleged actions causing long-time Library Director Kay Peppard to take early retirement.
Keith Lemons, who resigned in disgust from the Library Advisor Board Tuesday, told the court that all of the action the Executive Board had taken since former Judge Executive Buckwheat Gilbert was made a member was illegal because his posting was illegal. Demrow corrected Lemons perception of how the appointment was made.
Magistrate Terry Wilcher asked Day, who said the appointment had been deemed appropriate by the state’s Library and Archives Board, how he could not understand the Kentucky law regarding this appointment. When the magistrates had refused to seat Gilbert earlier this year, Demrow appointed him unilaterally. The Kentucky Revised Statutes say that the appointment must be made with the approval of the Fiscal Court. Day said he would seek a further clarification of the rules before the body next meets.
Day told Lemons that, regardless of whether Gilbert’s appointment was legal or not, it would not change the fact that Peppard resigned. Lemons asked, “Isn’t it different if you are asked to resign in the face of being fired? If you are told, “If you want your retirement, you will resign?””
Library patron Scena Petrey also spoke on behalf of Peppard and questioned if the Fiscal Court had no control over the Library Board. Day said, “The simple answer is that they are an autonomous board.”