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Former EMS director rehired on part-time basis

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Waste tire program collects thousands

By Ron Benningfield

LaRue County Fiscal Court hired Pat Helm as director of emergency medical services on a part-time basis.

"The emergency services committee felt that making the job part time would save the district a significant amount of dollars as we won't have to pay benefits, which right now amount to 17 percent," said Tommy Turner, judge-executive, meeting Tuesday with the magistrates at the courthouse in Hodgenville.

Helm, who retired from the director's position in June with 27 years of experience, will be on a one-year contract.   

"His experience will allow him to start immediately," Turner said.

Earlier this month, the court took action to continue cutting its budget.

Like most areas of the state and country, LaRue Fiscal Court is feeling the pain of rocketing health insurance costs for its employees.

The plan approved by magistrates at a meeting Oct. 13  calls for an approximately 12 percent increase.

“Under the current plan, renewal costs initially were going to rise 17.5 percent,” Turner said. “Even after negotiating with them, we were still looking at a 15.5 percent increase which is not feasible for us nor our employees.”

The new plan, like the current, is through Anthem, with county government paying a major part of the premium and the employee the rest. A person with single coverage will see about a $20 monthly premium increase to $184.94, with co-payments for other services rising as well.

“That’s the best we have been able to come up with,” Turner told magistrates.

In other business, Turner reported 15,000-20,000 waste tires were collected during the county's recent cleanup efforts.

"We had 13 to 15 semi-truckloads hauled off; a lot of them were big tractor tires, ones that otherwise would have probably wound up stacked behind barns," Turner said.

The court awarded bids for installing a new roof at the Senior Citizens' Center in Hodgenville to Perkins and Howell Builders, low bidder.

Magistrates approved a resolution allowing the state to provide funding for road improvement in the county.  Turner, mentioning Burd and River roads, explained that the funds would be for repaving.

Timmy Brown, county road supervisor, reported repairs made to the shoulders of Mt. Sherman-Ward and Airline roads.

His crews repaired damage to Thomas Lane where Green River Water Company repaired a water line leak.

 Brown has ordered 100 tons of cold mix for repairing potholes this winter.  He said the department has enough salt stored "to make two and one-half rounds."

 W.L. Miller, fourth-district magistrate, requested ditching be done on Hornback Lane and Mill Road.