GLASGOW – Barren County Fiscal Court approved Wednesday at a special-called meeting three items that all related to road work.
The Transportation Committee of the fiscal court had met just prior to the full court meeting to discuss the same topics.
Judge-Executive Micheal Hale said he called the special meeting because some of the items were time sensitive, because the paving contractor usually shuts down around mid-November, and some of these projects needed to get started in time to complete them before that.
The court first unanimously approved a resolution creating an agreement between the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the county for use of $320,131 in what the state calls flex funds that were awarded to the county for hot-mix asphalt on various county roads. The agreement stipulates such things as the county shall only use contractors prequalified by the cabinet for the work to be done and shall comply with all legal bidding requirements, etc. The county has to pay for the work and then the state will reimburse it.
All seven segments of road intended to be paved with the additional funding award are in Magisterial District 3, represented by Carl Dickerson. They are 0.111 mile of Dockery Heights Road, 1.440 miles of Elmo Road, 1.289 miles of Furlong Road, 0.2 mile of Gorby Road, 0.106 mile of Greenlawn Drive, one mile of Lee Fendell Road and 0.358 mile of Siddens Road.
The necessity for the next item was illustrated with the use of a video showing flooding in the vicinity of 474 Lecta-Salem Road, this portion of which is south of U.S. 68-Ky. 80 and north of Ky. 1307, in Magisterial District 1.
District 7 Magistrate Billy Houchens, who chairs the Transportation Committee, made a motion for Larry Glass Construction Co. Inc. to be the contractor for $25,082.50, and District 1 Magistrate Jeff Botts provided the second. Hale pointed out that the amount was below the state procurement threshold that requires the county to advertise for bids; that amount was just changed by the Kentucky General Assembly from $20,000 to $30,000 this year.
Another price quote had been received from J.B. Contracting; it was $29,600.
Botts said flooding had occurred at this location twice this year, and it's been looked at in the past, “but I felt like it was something we needed to get addressed. I know I don't have near as many roads as some of the others, but I would appreciate you all looking at this and voting this in.”
He described what was happening in the video with water running over the road and what the plan is for remedying the situation.
“I just wanted y'all to feel comfortable in what we're voting on. I know a lot of the other magistrates have places just like this one, but I appreciate if you all will just get this one,” Botts said. “Will this a 100 percent cure? No. We talked about it with Jeremy [Runyon, road supervisor], but it'll definitely help.”
The vote was unanimous to move forward with the project.
The third item on the agenda was right-of-way mowing, and Houchens made a motion “that we put this out for bids for the next three years.”
District 2 Magistrate advocated, as he had in the past, to split the contract in two, one for the northern portion of the county and one for the southern portion, perhaps using the Louie B. Nunn Cumberland Parkway as the dividing line, and he thought that should be considered.
“I think we'd get quite a bit more participation from local bidders if we did that,” he said.
District 4 Magistrate Tim Coomer said he would like to see the stipulations of the contract reviewed because there are some specifications some are afraid to bid on the way its written. For example, the right-of-way width and total miles should be clarified.
Hale said he didn't disagree with Coomer's concerns, but that could turn into a time-consuming process, because in some places there is no right of way and it varies in the other areas.
Runyon said when the mowing was advertised for bidding before, he got a lot a calls from potential bidders with questions because they felt like there were a lot of gray areas, such as the concerns Coomer mentioned.
“The only way I could figure out how you could get that would be from … your surveyor would have to do his research and see how many miles was in the county that you actually had to mow,” the road supervisor said.
Runyon also mentioned some other issues the potential bidders had mentioned.
“So there was a lot of gray areas in that that kept people from, I think maybe, coming in and bidding this which kind of left us as last time with one bidder,” he said. “It is something you might want to revise … if you want more bidders, because I do know that was a problem with the last.”
After a few more minutes of discussion, Houchens called the question – i.e. for the vote, and Coomer sought to clarify whether that meant the specs had to remain as they were, and Hale said they had to stop discussion, per parliamentary procedure. Coomer cast the only vote against the motion.
He said later that besides feeling like the specifications needed clarifications, they had not discussed having a three-year term on it during the committee meeting.
After the meeting, Botts met the Glasgow Daily Times at the Lecta-Salem Road location and explained the plan as he pointed to the various problem spots. The asphalt will be removed down to the base, and four new stormwater drainage pipes will be installed perpendicular to the direction of the roadway to replace the four that are there now that cross underneath the road and come out at various diagonal angles on the other side. He said a piece of Glasgow Water Co. water pipe is exposed in the eroded trench alongside the road, so that may need to get with GWC for that to be moved.
As of Wednesday afternoon, Botts said, the contractor planned to start next week when traffic impacts may be less due to schools being on fall break, because it will require that portion of the road to be temporarily closed.