Fiscal Court approves Dollar General rezoning, approves grain elevator feasibility study

 The Meade County Fiscal Court voted unanimously to approve the zoning change that would allow a Dollar General to be built at the intersection of 144 and 1239 in Payneville.

 Several members of the public came to voice both support and disapproval of the zoning change. However, the Fiscal Court would have had to schedule and hold a public hearing in order to consider new testimony that had not been provided at the planning and zoning meeting earlier this month. The court decided not to hold a public hearing, saying that they had already put in a lot of leg work to speak with citizens and do their research.

 “I just want people to know that we’ve received numerous calls on this,” said Magistrate Billy Sipes. “We’ve really put in a lot of thought. That’s why we wanted to go ahead and vote.”

 Magistrate Randall Hardesty said that, of those he talked to in the area, 51 were for the rezoning and 21 said they’d rather not have it.

 Ethan Mattingly, who spoke in strong opposition of the Dollar General store at the planning and zoning meeting, reiterated the points he made prior. He had apparently reached out to the magistrates individually, too, as Billy Sipes responded to an email he received from Mattingly, claiming the Dollar General would alter the way of life in the small, rural area, during open session.

 “A dollar store is not a super Wal-Mart,” said Sipes. “If you let Dollar General change your way of life, that’s your own fault. You can still live the way you are with the dollar store there. The dollar store isn’t going to employee 200 people. You’re talking 5-6 people. It’s going to help out the people that can’t make it to Brandenburg before things are closed. People down there have nothing to go to.”

The Court voted to set the county’s Halloween hours to 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Oct. 31, which are the same hours the county has set in years past.

Magistrates also opened bids regarding the electrical inspector for the Nucor project. However, due to the density of the proposals, the Court decided to delay action until they had ample time to digest and study the information provided to them. The Meade County Messenger will explore these bids in depth in a future edition.

After conducting several other items of business, the Court went into a lengthy closed session. Upon returning, they voted to proceed with a feasibility study to look at the possibility of putting a grain elevator back in the county. A member of the public asked if they had a location in mind, and Judge-Executive Leslie Stith responded, saying that they had “a couple” of locations in mind. County Attorney Jessica Brown Roberts said that determining the specific location is something the feasibility study would help with.

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