Solid waste coordinator resigns, United Way changes direction

By Chris Cooper -

United Way, recycling, and the resignation of the county’s solid waste coordinator was on the agenda Tuesday of the Logan County Fiscal Court. Magistrates Dickie Carter, Jack Crossley and Thomas Bouldin were absent at the bi-monthly meeting, however, business went on as usual with magistrates Jo Orange, Barry Joe Wright, Drexel Johnson and judge executive Logan Chick continuing the decision making of the county.

Ellie Harbaugh, Senior Director of Resource Development for United Way of Southern Kentucky, gave a brief report to the court about where the non-profit was heading in the future. According to Harbaugh the United Way is shifting its focus from a “band-aid” approach to an educational based plan.

“We will not be stopping the help we have historically supported in the past, only now we will be turning our energy towards educating small children,” said Harbaugh. United Way, thanks to the generous support of the community, will be working with the Russellville and Logan County School Systems, as well as the Head Start program to help the youth in our communities become better prepared to become adults who won’t need the safety net provided by United Way now.

“We are thankful for all the dollars we receive from the community,” said Harbaugh. “From those who send in a dollar a week, to those who work out of the county but pledge their donations back here, we are grateful.”

United Way Board member Ken Campbell attended Tuesday’s meeting as well saying, “We want to break the cycle. We have to get to the root cause, and plant the seed.”

A committee was created Tuesday to look into the county’s curbside recycling program, which is managed by Scott Waste LLC. Magistrates Carter and Orange have both expressed concern about the costs associated with the program. The county was generating money from the sale of recyclables in the beginning two years ago. However, since the market on recyclables has dropped, the county is now paying to taking them to Louisville to be recycled. Magistrates Bouldin and Orange will be serving on the committee, along with judge Chick.

During Tuesday’s meeting, Logan County Jailer Phil Gregory reported a record high of $143,568 collected from the Department of Justice for October to pay for housing state inmates at the Logan County Detention Center. This makes of $834,069 generated from July 1 to date.

“This is definitely a big improvement,” said judge Chick to Gregory. “You’re doing a good job.”

Magistrates approved the purchase of 25 stacker bunks for the jail Tuesday for $4,162 from Norix Furniture at the request of Gregory.

Dwight Cockrill, who has been serving as the county’s solid waste coordinator for the past several years, reported Dec. 2 would be his last day of employment for the county. Cockrill expressed his appreciation to the county in a letter read by Judge Chick, for the opportunity to serve as coordinator.

“I will gladly train the next coordinator before I leave,” said Cockrill, who gave no indication at Tuesday’s meeting why he was leaving.

Chaplain Mike Humble attended Tuesday’s meeting asking for financial help for trainings and recouping what is spent on temporary shelter for the homeless. The court approved a contribute of $2,500 to the Logan County Chaplains. The chaplains assist emergency personnel including: police, firemen, dispatchers, and the citizens of Logan County during tragic events.

“I appreciate all your help,” said Humble to the court. Humble thanked the emergency personnel for the good jobs they do in the community. From the “tremendous” job the Emergency Communications Center does, to the police, fire, first responders, and task force. “We are so blessed here in Logan County,” said Humble.

The court approved an annual contribution of $500 to Agape Toys for Tots, in which Humble and his wife Janice organize.

South Central Kentucky Drug Task Force Director Jacky Hunt was approved to receive an out-building which will provide additional storage space. Hunt requested the purchase last month from the court saying the sheriff’s department will be utilizing it as well. The building will be purchased from Farmer’s Hardware for $5,050.

The court approved appointments Tuesday to the Logan County Extension Board. Barry Perkins and Peggy Wright will be filling the seats of exiting members Aubrietta Woodall and Donna Baker. The court approved the reappointment of Jerry Humble to the Russellville-Logan County Airport Board for a four year term.

The county’s annual Christmas dinner will be held Dec. 13 following the regularly scheduled meeting of the fiscal court at 9 a.m.

According to Logan County Sheriff Wallace Whittaker, over $12 million dollars in taxes has been collected by the sheriff’s department. Whittaker informed the court two of his clerks had worked tirelessly on the taxes and he felt they had earned a raise. Magistrate Orange was skeptical, however, saying, “If we raise them, we will have to raise everyone else.”

Orange said she did not doubt the clerks were hard workers, but said they were doing what they were hired to do.

“I have no problem with the employees,” said Orange. “We just need to be careful. We should stick to the pay-scale we have in place. It’s nothing against you or them, but we just can’t pick out two people and give them raises. What about the other employees?”

Whittaker replied he had seen it done before.

“It won’t hurt my feelings. I was just asking,” said the sheriff.

By Chris Cooper

To contact Chris Cooper, email or call 270-726-8394.

To contact Chris Cooper, email or call 270-726-8394.

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