CATLETTSBURG After chewing the cud and mulling it over, the Boyd County Fisical Court voted to move forward with purchasing new voting machines for the county.

With only two vendors authorized to sell voting machines in the state, a question was brought up whether the contract needed to be bid out. According to County Clerk Kevin Johnston, there did not need to be a bid; County Attorney Phillip Hedrick said it depends if the contract is through the state for HARP Enterprises as a “sole provider” for the machinery.

Commissioner Larry Brown told Johnston to get a spec sheet and bring it to the fiscal court. Commissioner Keith Watts and Boyd County Judge-Executive Eric Chaney seemed to like that idea, too.

According to the number figured up by HARP, it cost the county $30,000 in repairs last election cycle. That cost, as parts continue to be more scarce on the market, will only go up.

The vote is just another step towards updating the voting equipment. Chaney pointed out since there isn’t an election this year, there can be a bit of breathing room to figure out the next move.

During public comment at the meeting, proud Westwoodian Suzzanne Griffith praised the court on some big moves they’re making in economic development. She then went on to say she was hoping to revive a citizen commission to continue identifying dilapidated and abandoned houses in Westwood. Chaney said the county in the upcoming budget intends to use the delinquent tax fund to buy abandoned houses, knock them down and get the land to the market for development.

That money would be about $175,000 a year, Chaney said.

Randy Hollingsworth, another Westwood citizen admonished the court for failing to keep up with the roads around the area, especially on 5th Street where he drives to go to his mom’s house.

“There’s a sidewalk we’ve needed for 60 years, that’s great. I’ve only seen 10 people on it. We need some black top on these roads,” Hollingsworth said.

The fiscal court told Hollingsworth — who pointed out the City of Ashland is digging out these holes in the road — that the contractor is backed up and the county is doing it’s best to keep up with the holes.

Hollingsworth then asked what he could do about an abandoned trailer near his house in which squatters had broken into. He also raised an issue about another guy who has strewn a field with lawn mower parts.

“Have you called code enforcement?” Watts asked.

“We have code enforcement?” Hollingsworth asked.

After learning about a whole other department at the county, Hollingsworth agreed to give them a call. He left the commission with this final thought — they need to cut the dang grass along the side of the roads.

“I know it was COVID, but we’re pretty well past that,” Hollingsworth said.

Brown, the only masked commissioner, took his mask off and spoke into the microphone, making eye contact with Hollingsworth.

“I promise we will address these issues,” Brown said.

Here’s some other highlights to Tuesday’s meeting:

• Chaney announced the addition of Andrew Steele as the director of the Tourism Board.

• surplus Crown Vics, a Toyota and a 1999 Kawasaki dirt bike will be among the items going to auction from the sheriff’s department.

• passed on second-reading the animal control ordinance.

• Brown, who leads the invocations at the beginning of the meeting, asked to for a moment of silence for Sheriff Bobby Jack Woods’ wife, who died over the weekend.

(606) 326-2653 |

henry@dailyindependent.com

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