The Caldwell County Fiscal Court met in regular session Tuesday morning at the courthouse in downtown Princeton.

After the Pledge of Allegiance and a prayer, Caldwell County Judge Executive Ellen Dunning called the meeting to order and County Clerk Toni Watson called roll. The court then approved the agenda and the minutes from the April 10th meeting.

Judge Dunning then gave her Judge Executive comments, mentioning the successful Interstate-169 sign unveiling ceremony she attended with several of Kentucky’s elected officials in Hopkinsville on Monday. The new federally designated interstate will be along the Pennyrile Parkway from the Madisonville exit to the Kentucky/Tennessee State line. The Christian County Chamber of Commerce have been working for 25 years to bring about the designation.

The meeting then moved to unfinished business, of which there was none, so the meeting moved to new business, of which there were several items. The first item of new business was the discussion and ordinance concerning the removal of Goodaker Hill Road. Magistrate Brent Stallins addressed the court stating that they had a public hearing at 8:30AM before the meeting and that there were no objections to the removal of the road. He also stated that he has spoken with everyone who lives in the area and owns land along the road and they are all in agreement that the road should close. Magistrate Stallins then made the recommendation that the county remove the road. County Attorney Roy Massey then gave the first reading of the ordinance dealing with the removal. The court will vote to remove or keep the road after the second reading at the next regular session meeting in May.

The next item of new business was the approval of a resolution to apply for a Kentucky Office of Homeland Security Grant for the Caldwell County Ambulance Service. The county is eligible for a $10,000 grant that will be used by the ambulance service to buy two new heart monitors. After a motion and a second the court unanimously approved the resolution to apply for the grant.

The next item of new business was to discuss the heating and air systems at the county’s animal shelter. Judge Dunning told the court that the condenser on the heater at the shelter has stopped functioning and that the warranty has run out. She has been advised by a professional that it would be better for the county in the long run to go with a gas operated heating and air unit. The court was quoted prices for buying both a heat pump and a gas operated unit; the heat pump would cost $4,662 while the gas operated unit would cost $5,166. Judge Dunning recommended they go with the gas operated unit, though it is more costly upfront the gas unit would be more efficient, would need less maintenance work, and would run longer. Judge Dunning then stated that they were also working on fully insulating the attic of the building, which would help alleviate the extreme heat in the summer and extreme cold in the winter. The court has been quoted a price of $1,200 to install spray insulation in the entire 2,400 square foot attic. Magistrate Phillip Sisk then spoke up asking to search out more quotes for both the heating and air unit and insulation and to make sure the gas unit was the proper size for the building. Judge Dunning then stated that more quotes would be acquired before the next regular session meeting in May.

The next item of new business was the approval of the County Clerk Final Settlement. County Clerk Watson then addressed the court stating that the county received $2,972,997.60 in fees last year and then spent $2,948,192.57, therefore they have received a check of $24,805.03 as reimbursement for all excess fees. After a motion and a second the court unanimously approved the settlement.

The court then unanimously approved the Treasure’s transfers and to pay bills as presented.

The last item of new business was the approval of the renewal of county employee health insurance. Heather Nesler from the Kentucky League of Counties Health Insurance office then addressed the court stating that there would be a 2.6 percent increase if the county chose to renew their current insurance plans. Heather stated that county employees will still have the choice of both plans and that the 2.6 percent increase would be covered by the county. She also stated that the average increase across the state was 4.6 percent but because Caldwell was below average on claims it kept their increase down. Judge Dunning recommended that they renew at the 2.6 percent increase. After a motion and a second the court unanimously approved the renewal of health insurance through the Kentucky League of Counties.

The court then heard reports from the various county departments and committees before Judge Dunning asked for magistrate’s comments. Magistrate Elbert Bennett spoke up stating that Caldwell will be hosting the Kentucky League of Counties Executive Board in July and that his plan is to give them a good tour of the county, with visits at the Research Center, Adsmore, and more. Magistrate Sisk then spoke stating that he attended the Caldwell County Farmer’s Market meeting last week and that they have decided to hold the market three days a week. The Caldwell County Farmer’s Market will be held on Tuesdays from 10AM to 1PM, Thursdays from 3 to 6PM, and on Saturdays from 8AM to 4PM. He also stated that they are still moving forward with the permanent pavilion project beside the Frank P Giannini Senior Citizen Center.

Linda Johnson, of the Trail of Tears Commission, then stood and addressed the court, giving thanks to the court for their generous donation to the Trail of Tears. She also mentioned that the commission is working on some maintenance of the brick at the park and that the cyclists who travel the Trail of Tears every year in June will be staying in Princeton this year.

Judge Dunning then called for a motion to adjourn and after a motion and a second, the meeting adjourned. The next regular session Caldwell County Fiscal Court meeting will be held on May 8th and is open to the public.