By: PAMELA SCOTT JOHNSON Staff Writer
April 18, 2013
Julia Roberts Goad
PIKEVILLE, KY - The Pike County Fiscal Court approved the two Pike County people to be on the Pike County Library Board at their regular meeting.
“We have one of the best public library systems in the commonwealth,” Pike Judge Executive Wayne T. Rutherford said. “ Our library board is active in bringing the latest technology in the world to our library, it will be a great asset to the people of the county and anyone who wants to enhance their ability to understand what’s going on in the world. We live in a global society. We will have two members on this board, Oscar Blackburn and Kathy Childers. As the members of the court are aware, we don’t pick the names, we are given by the state library board.”
Rutherford said Blackburn and Childers are both well known in the county, that Blackburn had a long career with AT&T and Childers serves as a librarian for Pike County schools.
District Five Magistrate Hilman Dotson said that while he thought Blackburn is a “fine gentleman,” he wishes the appointments were given to people in different areas of the county.
“I’d love to see us, down the road, to be able to get somebody from our end of the county,” Dotson said. “I hope in the future this board will look at someone from the other side of the county. That’s two from the Virgie area. I think one is enough. We are part of Pike County,”
Rutherford said the County Judges Association and the Kentucky Association of Counties has lobbied in Frankfort to change the law so the Fiscal Court had a right to appoint members to the library board, and that the amount of taxes that goes to libraries be changed as well.
“Under state law, 6 percent of our taxes go to libraries,” he explained. “Whether that is fair, I sometimes question. The other boards, the health board and Extension Board for example, only get four percent of our property tax.”
Rutherford said he felt that money is mis-prioritized, and that the library board should get four percent while the health department should get six percent, that while education is important, so is the public health, and that the Pike County Health Department furnishes nurses to Pike County schools.
“There is no doubt in my mind that the services and facilities we have in this county. We have under construction a new building next to the Lowe’s on Cassidy Boulevard. it is a $10 million structure, and it is needed. The 35,000 square foot building will be available for functions of the Fiscal Court when we need space for public meetings, we will have that space.”
In other business, Magistrate Dotson said construction has began on dressing rooms and restrooms at the Hatfield McCoy Park at McCarr. The park features an amphitheater, which will be the venue for a play based on the Hatfield McCoy feud produced by the Artist Collaborative Theater.
The play is scheduled to debut July 29, and run throughout the rest of the season.
The court also received an update on the traveling Vietnam Wall, which will be displayed at Bob Amos Park July 3 through 7. In addition to the wall, which is a replica of the memorial wall in Washington D.C., the event will feature a nonfunctioning U1H1 helicopter, which are the ones used during the Vietnam War.