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The Meade County Fiscal Court’s May meeting

CHAD HOBBS

Editor


This past Tuesday, the Meade County Fiscal Court held its regular monthly meeting. The public comment portion of the meeting was dominated by citizens speaking out against a recent unanimous decision by Planning and Zoning to approve a two-acre parcel of land at the corner of Old State Road and Seminole Trail being rezoned from R1 to R3. The owner of the property, Kevin Medley, sought to have the rezoning to allow for either quadplexes or duplexes to be built on the property. After Planning and Zoning approving the rezoning of the land, the issue had to have final approval from the Fiscal Court. Several residents that live in the area spoke out against Planning and Zoning’s decision and pled for the court to deny the change. They mentioned various reasons ranging from traffic issues to drainage problems. Others pointed out that they had fled urban areas for the rural lifestyle that the Meade County countryside provides and that allowing multi-family dwellings would destroy the very reason they bought their land in the first place. Another resident stated that he and his wife had bought the adjoining property to start the mini farm they had always longed for and have enjoyed that very thing for years now. He added that, if approved, apartments would be right beside his driveway which would affect his land value, his view, and his whole reason for building where he did in the first place. Another speaker pointed out that she felt that Planning and Zoning’s five-year agenda does not take in account the people that chose rural living. It was also brought up that the previous owners of this land also tried to rezone the property and were denied by a previous court. Tim LaTondress, who serves on the Planning and Zoning board, said that Meade County is growing and that when the county was originally zoned over 20 years ago, it was not zoned to allow for enough multi-family dwellings in the county to meet the needs of the growing community. P&Z Administrator Karen Goodin added that their rezoning approval was consistent with the guidelines the office uses to make these decisions. After some discussion, the Fiscal Court unanimously denied the zoning change with several arguing that the scope and location of rental properties in the county needed to be restrained and contained. As Magistrate Billy Sipes pointed out, if Planning and Zoning is going to approve every request to rezone a piece of property every time a developer wants to then there really isn’t a reason to have planning and zoning in the first place. In other business, Sipes stated that several members of the court had recently attended a meeting regarding the new grain elevator proposed to be built across the river in Mauckport, Indiana. He said that things were moving forward very quickly with ADM, the company that would operate the granary. Greg Fackler was approved to serve on the Battletown Fire Department Board of Trustees, and Alan Sipes was also approved to serve in the same capacity for the Flaherty Fire Department. Sipes recently retired from a long tenure as the Chief for FFD. Dale Funk was approved to serve another three-year term on the Meade County/Brandenburg Industrial Authority Board. The court also moved forward with the dissolution of the Riverport Authority. The Riverport Authority Board recently met and terminated the ground lease and paid back the $7,500 in their bank account to the Fiscal Court. The RA does not own any property, assets or liabilities, and they will have nothing to do with the new riverport proposal in Mauckport so their existence is no longer warranted at this time.

Other items of business included:

The proclamation of May as Community Action month;

Approval of a resolution to accept road aid from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in the amount of $1.3 million; The first reading of the 2022-2023 budget of $27 million for the county;

The opening of bids for I.T. Director, electrical inspector, HVAC inspector, and building inspector;

The resignation of Planning and Zoning Administrator Karen Goodin effective May 20;

Approval to seek bids for building a new maintenance building for the Parks Department at Meade-Olin Park; Approval of a two-year contract with Code Red for weather alert software for $3,200. This allows the county’s reverse 911 system to notify citizens about severe weather alerts from the National Weather Service.