Forkland wants to keep convenience center

December 03, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

FORKLAND - Take away the green container and garbage will be all over the knob, residents here told Boyle County Judge-Executive Tony Wilder Thursday.

About 50 residents packed the community center gym, its own testament to how the government handles tough times. The rock structure was finished in 1941 by the U.S. Works Projects Administration.

Wilder invited them to talk about the county's financial crisis. They came to talk about their convenience center, and also questioned a wide range of Wilder's decisions from Millennium Park to the jail.

Some residents wanted to know why Wilder would pick on Forkland and why the county hadn't talked about closing any other centers.


When Wilder asked department heads to come up with 5 percent cuts, the solid waste department suggested taking out the Forkland Convenience Center, which has to be emptied twice as much as the others in the county because it has no compactor. Containers that are compacted can hold 10 tons. Forkland's only holds three tons before it has to be dumped. Each time it's dumped costs more than $300.

Wilder pointed out that property tax on a $100,000 house is only $50.

He said the Mitchellsburg Convenience Center is just four miles up the road. But, Forkland residents said they can't climb Mitchellsburg knob in the winter time.

If the county takes out the convenience center, then it might as well take all the "Keep Forkland Beautiful" signs with it, said resident Mathew Ellis.

Others said they are wary of a payroll tax increase, Wilder's solution to the county's financial problem, but that if it means Forkland can keep its container, then he should do it.

Wilder kept shy of a promise to keep it there, but said that if there is enough money he will hire someone to make sure that only county residents, not businesses, dump trash there.

Someone suggested that security cameras be put up, but then someone countered that illegal dumpers would just shoot them.

The county suspects that some businesses, maybe from Danville and Junction City, are taking their trash to the center because no one is posted at it like the other convenience centers.

Fired up about Millennium Park

The residents seemed satisfied, but they got fired up about Millennium Park. They asked Wilder if he would still be in trouble if he had the $2.4 million back that was spent on the park.

Wilder said that the county eventually would have had trouble because it was spending more than it took in. This year he expects the county will have a $700,000 deficit.

Wilder said that he did the county a favor by spending surplus funds instead of borrowing money because he cut out the interest. He said the county spent money on the park until it lost $450,000 when the state stopped housing inmates at the jail.

The county was being paid $100 a day to house juveniles, but the state decided to keep all the offenders in state facilities.

Wilder said the state wouldn't even let Boyle County keep its own juveniles. Instead it has to pay the state to house them in London, and every time they have to appear in court, a sheriff's deputy has to go get them.

The state has announced that it might reduce the minimum square-foot requirement per inmate from 70-square-feet to 40-square-feet. Jailer Barry Harmon has said that it could mean a $437,000 increase for the county.

Wilder said that would help, but that it hasn't happened yet.

Harmon said the change could come in January. Wilder hasn't said when he will ask the magistrates to vote on a payroll tax increase.

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