Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

February 12, 2013

Fiscal court to seek bids on jail roof repairs

Kenneth Hart
The Independent

GREENUP — This winter has been rough on the roof of the Greenup County Detention Center.

According to Jailer Mike Worthington, the lockup’s roof has sprung several leaks since the onset of cold weather.

While they’re not so severe that water pours through the jail’s roof every time it rains, the leaks still cause a lot of problems, Worthington said. The moisture seeping into the building creates the potential for mold, which means “We’re constantly cleaning,” he said.

Worthington said he initially thought the moisture problems were being caused by the building sweating, but further invetigation revealed a leaky roof to be the culprit.

The fiscal court on Tuesday took a major step toward alleviating the problem by voting to advertise for bids to fix the jail roof. The bids will be opened at the court’s March meeting.

Worthington said the repair would involve resurfacing the entire roof. He said the cost of the work wouldn’t be known until the bids are in.

He said the roof problems were mainly because of the age of the building and the fact its roof is flat, which mean water tends to collect on it. The jail was built in 1991.

Judge-Executive Bobby Carpenter said he was hopeful that whoever the winning bidder for the job is can begin work by early April at the latest.

In an unrelated matter, the court voted to continue to withhold payroll tax payments to the city of Greenup until a lawsuit filed about the levy is resolved.

According to Carpenter, the county is holding the money, withheld from the paychecks of county workers, in escrow while the case makes its way through the court system He said the vote to continue to withhold it came about after County Treasurer Carol Vinson received an email from the city requesting the city pay a “reconcilation amount” to avoid additional late fees and penalties.

The Greenup City Council voted in February of last year to impose the 1 percent payroll tax. The levy went into effect on April 1, 2012. A number of county employees and elected officials opposed the levy, saying it amounted to a “courthouse tax” because the county is the largest employer located within Greenup city limits.

A suit filed in Greenup Circuit Court by Kyra Conley, an employee of the county child suppost office, challenges the legality of the tax and claims the levy places “an unfair and unwarranted burden on the underclass.” Conley is represented in the suit by her boss, Greenup County Attorney Mike Wilson.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.