County agrees to renew Martin center lease
by Jack Latta
PRESTONSBURG — The Floyd County Fiscal Court appeared to agree to a continued lease of the Martin Community Center last Friday during its regular meeting, but the issue will continue to be on hold until the Martin City Council decides whether or not to renew the lease.
Martin Mayor Sam Howell was present Friday and expressed interested in renewing the lease the city had with fiscal court for the use of the Martin Community Center. “It has been an asset to our community,” Howell said.
The Martin council met Tuesday night during their regular meeting to discuss the matter. That meeting occurred after press time.
During a special meeting earlier this month, council member April Gayheart expressed reservations about renewing the lease. Gayheart said members of the council needed more time to familiarize themselves with the liabilities the lease may bring, even though the city has had a lease with with the county for 10 years.
“Is that the same council you had before?” County Attorney Keith Bartley asked. “You would think that they would already know about the (community center’s) finances.”
According to Bartley, the city’s old lease with the county had an automatic renewal built into lease, and had former Mayor Thomasine Robinson brought in a check for $1, the lease would have automatically renewed.
Howell said he wants to get the after-school program back into the center as soon as a lease can be finalized. The fiscal court appeared to be agreeable to signing a new lease with the city, though some magistrates expressed an interest in changing some of the language in any future lease.
Also during Friday’s meeting, Magstrate Hattie Owens expressed displeasure at the lack of road money her district was afforded in a recent agreement between the state and the county for the development of rural secondary roads.
Owens said the agreement called for $212,000 be spent on secondary roads, but none of that money was allocated for District 2. “It’s funny how District 2 didn’t get one ton out of that $212,000.”
Owens says she submitted roads in need of work, and that the one road which made the list was taken off. “Judge, we have roads that school buses travel on, and we’re paving Davidson Memorial Gardens,” Owens said. “I just don’t want to be left out every time.”
Owens made a motion to the court that, in the future, all money coming into the county for road work be divided as equally as possible among the districts. The motion passed unanimously.
During Friday’s meeting, the court accepted the resignation of Cleveland Tackett as commissioner of the Southern Water and Sewer District. Tackett reportedly resigned due to poor health. The court voted to replace Tackett with Gary Blankenship, who will serve out the remainder of Tackett’s term, which expires in 2015.
A resolution to transfer $25,000 of coal severance money earmarked for projects at German Bridge was tabled until the court could get more information from Denzil Allen, the head of the Big Sandy Trail Riders, who are now responsible for German Bridge Campground.
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