Editorial by Chad Hobbs
At the March Fiscal Court meeting, things took a turn towards the unexplainable during a presentation about secondary road improvements. After Paul Sanders, Kentucky Transportation District 4 chief engineer, gave a update on Meade County’s rural secondary road improvement plans, Judge/Executive Gerry Lynn asked, “Do you recall how long it was back when I asked you about putting a turn light on the By-pass to enable the grain farmers to be able to get into 933 without having a problem with ongoing traffic?” Sanders wasn’t sure but said it had been some time, and also pointed out that they did eventually get it accomplished. To which the judge questioned, “That is finished and working now?” Sanders confirmed that it was complete. Anyone who drives through there knows it has been for quite a long time. The Judge seemed pleased with this bit of old news, stating, “Well I appreciate you all doing that because that is a problem. That is another safety issue that we try to make our county better every day that we can.” Many in attendance were perplexed at the Judge’s statements, and Sanders appeared to be as well. Since the Judge was instrumental in the fact that there is no longer a granary for farmers to go to off 933, it can only be surmised that at best the Judge was taking a jab at the farmers in the crowd. It appeared to be in poor taste regardless of the motivation, but a good chuckle at the Judge’s expense was enjoyed by several in attendance, nonetheless. Sanders was there that night to discuss the details of Meade County’s secondary rural road funds for the 2020-2021 allocation. He said all 120 counties in the Commonwealth are allocated funds through a five point formula. One fifth is equally distributed amongst all counties. One fifth is based on the rural population. One fifth is based on the road miles. Two fifths is based on the land area. Sanders said Meade County has 122.463 miles of rural secondary roads and that the first priority would be routine maintenance and traffic control which will get $562,300 this year. The next priority Sanders said was KY 1158 going from KY 1600 to KY 333 with an expected cost of $348,000. KY 933 is another priority that was addressed. “If you’ve driven down 933 off 1638, you’ll notice there are several large cracks in the road,” Sanders explained. “One of them will be fixed with railroad steel. We drill into the rock and backfill the hole with steel and rock.” He said the other two slide repairs on this section of road will be done with stone and geotextile fabric, bringing the expected 933 improvement cost in at approximately $186,000. KY 228 will also be a priority in receiving slide repair work. Sanders stated there were four or five slide locations they want to fix with an anticipated cost of $178,000. Railroad steel will be used to fix those as well, and his plan is to get those roads fixed, stabilized, and come in next year and try to resurface them all with program funds. “Total cost of that program is $1,241,700,” stated Sanders. “Our allowance this year for the program is $1,237,904. So we are about 3,700-3,800 dollars over.” He also stated that Meade County would receive $245,000 to resurface roads and that parts of US 31W and KY 868 in Muldraugh will be getting some work done to them this year as well through another program of the Kentucky Transportation Department.