Nelson County Fiscal Court briefs from Aug. 15

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By Randy Patrick

Report released on Wickland fire

If the county decides to restore the nearly 200-year-old house at Wickland that was burned by arsonists, it will require extensive work.

County Engineer Brad Spalding said he had gotten the independent structural engineers’ report back last week, and based on the study, half of the floor on the second story will have to be replaced along with the entire roof, including the rafters.

The mid-20th century addition on the back of the house is “structurally gone,” he said, but those parts of the original house that weren’t exposed to the fire are “probably in good shape.”

The house, behind the Wickland mansion, was the home of the Wickliffe family that produced two governors of Kentucky and one of Louisiana. It was built in the 1820s, about the same time as the mansion and probably before the bigger house, said County Judge-Executive Dean Watts.

Two juveniles were arrested in July by Bardstown Police for setting fire to the historic house and stealing a vehicle from a nearby church, which they wrecked.

Internet franchise agreement tabled

Bluegrass Network wants to run its internet lines through Nelson County, but there’s nothing in its proposed agreement with the county about serving the local community.

County Judge-Executive Dean Watts asked the Nelson County Fiscal Court Tuesday to delay acting on the non-exclusive franchise because he had some “outstanding questions” to resolve.

Watts said the map shows the line coming through Nelson County from Bloomfield Road to Bardstown and Boston, and branching out to connect schools.

EMS Director Joe Prewitt said, though, that the plan wouldn’t connect Thomas Nelson High School or Flaget Memorial Hospital, so he thinks the plan “has some holes in it.”

The proposal was tabled.

Bloomfield offers radio tower site

Nelson County’s magistrates authorized the county judge-executive to sign an agreement with the city of Bloomfield to lease Nelson County space on its water tower for a radio communication site for $1 a year.

The county must pay all the cost of installing the antennas for sending and receiving emergency radio signals.

Prewitt said water towers make ideal sites for radio equipment.

Equipment for the Bloomfield site has been ordered and will cost about $15,000.

The EMS director said the water tower will give the county a third radio tower. The others are at Salt River Electric in Bardstown and in New Haven.

He also mentioned that the conversion from analog to digital radio communication for sheriff’s officers is “99 percent” complete, and that Nelson County Fire and Rescue would be the next to shift over to the new technology, and then Nelson County EMS.

Time for plan for local landfill

The state requires landfills to update their long-range plans every five years, and the Nelson County Landfill is into that process, Engineer John Greenwell told the Fiscal Court Tuesday.

He said the plan was advertised in the Kentucky Standard last week, and the public will have 30 days to comment on the plan, before it is presented to the Fiscal Court at its Sept. 5 meeting at 9 a.m.

He said bids for the Samuels Hall renovation at the Nelson County Fairgrounds will be opened Sept. 1.