LOUISA, KY. — Roads, roads and more roads was the issue most heavily discussed at Tuesday morning’s regular Lawrence Co. Fiscal Court.
First, Judge/Exec. Phillip Carter asked the court to pass a resolution to allow the county to issue work permits for outside companies who use Lawrence County roads. Carter said the permits will give the county an idea of who is working here and where they are from.
He said large trucks from logging to drilling to other haulers have been making a mess of some county roads and there is no way to know who they are. He said there will not be a fine or penalty for those who do not register, however, prompting County Attorney Mike Hogan to question how the companies will be made to get a permit.
Out of county companies that operate here 2 weeks or more and are hauling more than the 18 ton weight limit
Carter said the magistrates in each district will be asked to help identify the trucks in their districts. They will also be asked to help FIVCO count the number of miles of paved and gravel roads in the county. FIVCO rep Eric Patton attended the meeting asking the court to help him count all the roads in the county so the proper amount of monies can be collected through the state transportation department.
He said there are 3,500 road segments in Lawrence County.
Carter said the magistrate in each district will assist with it but the motion was tabled until next month.
“These overloaded trucks have been tearing up our roads for a long time and we want to try to see who is doing it and make them pay,” Carter said.
Hogan said the county may be able to require truck owners to have an insurance policy that covers up to $100,000 in damages to public roads in order to get a permit, but he said there would still have to be a way of telling if they are overweight or not.
Sheriff Chuck Jackson said that is a big problem because his office has no scales to weigh with and is not certified to do the weight checks, anyway. “I could site them for having bald tires or other problems like that but there’s no way to tell if they are overweight without scales, Jackson said.
After much discussion about the roads Carter said the court is doing all it can to get them fixed.
“This problem has not just come up in the last six months, ” Carter said. “We are out there every day doing the best we can but there is just not enough money to fix them all.”
He also said those who are complaining about the dust should realize there hasn’t been any rain in the past 18 days and that maes it tough especially for those who live on gravel roads. But he said the state will not allow putting oil or any other substance on the highways any more. “In the old days we could oil them down and stop the dust a little, but environmental standards will not allow it now,” he said.
Deputy Judge/Executive Vince Doty mentioned the severe break in the road on Big Blaine Creek which he said is estimated to cost $2 million to fix. “We are looking at a cost share program through the state where the county has to pay 25% of the cost and the state the rest,” Doty said. “We think we can pay for a lot of it in “in kind” work such as hauling our own dirt and doing other jobs that go with the project so we don’t have to come up with all the 25% in cash.”