PIKEVILLE, Ky. –The fireworks started early in Pikeville, Ky. this year.
At Thursday night’s special meeting of the Pike County Fiscal Court where the main focus was supposed to be the pending budget approval and employee health insurance coverage, it turns out an unanticipated closing of two Senior Citizen’s Centers in the county set off a firestorm.
It became apparent to District 4 Magistrate Jeff Anderson just an hour before the meeting was to start the Phelps area and Marrowbone Senior Centers had been closed by the current director Diane Thacker. This decision came as a shock to the people of both areas who used the centers on a regular basis.
According to several people who use the center, just a note was posted saying the centers were closed.
Paul Charles, a Phelps resident who uses the center frequently said, “the court is her boss and they have done nothing to reprimand her for her actions, we are suppose, to have bingo money to help finance the centers and we don’t know where that money is, shouldn’t we know ?”
Toby Miller another walk in at the center said, “I have been coming to the center since 2000, and it is all I have to do.”
Pike County Judge Executive Bill Deskins said he would not allow the centers to be closed and in a unanimous decision by all court members the doors are to remain open at the senior citizen facilities until a full inquiry into the matter can be made.
It is uncertain at this point as to why the Phelps and Marrowbone centers were the only ones closed.
In other actions that were taken by the court on Thursday evening.
Judge Deskins signed into order an emergency adoption of the budget which gave approval for the 2016-2017 budget to be passed.
Kelly Harmon addressed the court to say a decision had to be made that night on whether to terminate the employee’s family plan on the county provided health insurance or continue it for 60 days. In the end the employees will be allowed to keep their family plans for 60 days which will end on September 1 after that the insurance provided by the county will be for employees only.
Jim Patton and Mike Blackburn were also at the meeting to discuss a previous request to have the county budget $25,000 annual to help with Elk Run Golf Course, the request was denied. At this time the county is paying $33,000 per year for the property lease on the golf course and another $45,000 a year for the salary of a county worker to maintain the grounds and to provide security for the course. After the request was denied by the court, Mr. Patton reproached the court to inform them he would be looking into the possibility of investors to help with the cost of the course, because he deeply felt it could revitalize the area if it was usable.
The Pike County Fiscal Court meeting originally scheduled for Tuesday, July 5 has been rescheduled and a date will be announced later.
Kendra Mahon is a reporter for the Williamson Daily News. She can be reached at [email protected] or 304-235-4242 ext 2278.