Assistance offered to Germantown VFD

Christy Howell-Hoots - [email protected]
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BROOKSVILLE — Magistrates approve $5,000 in assistance to the Germantown Volunteer Fire Department during a regular meeting on Wednesday.

During the meeting, Erik Eby asked the fiscal court to assist with two issues currently facing the department: the match for a 50/50 equipment grant and repairs to a tanker trunk.

According to Eby, the department is in desperate need of new equipment and was currently approved for a grant. However, the department would need to provide 50 percent of the grant in order to receive it.

“We don’t have the money right now to match it,” he said. “We’re in dire need of this new equipment.”

According to Eby, the amount needed to match the grant is $3,159.

Eby also requested $1,267 in order to make necessary repairs to a tanker truck.

“It’s currently out of commission,” he said. “We need to make the repairs. I can’t remember the last time we did this, but with things being how they are right now, we’re in trouble and we need some help.”

The issue facing the department was not mentioned at the meeting. However, Andrea Davis, 36, who served as the treasurer for the department for several years, was recently indicted for allegedly removing thousands of dollars from the department.

According to an indictment for Davis, between Sept. 20, 2016 and March 2, 2018, Davis allegedly removed $10,222.27 from the department’s checking account and between May 2, 2018 and April 23, 2018, she allegedly removed $14,304.41 from the department’s checking account.

At the time of the indictment, Germantown VFD Chief Mark Mains said the department had not suspected anything until he received a phone call from the Kentucky Fire Commission.

“They called and said a complaint had been lodged about our treasurer,” Mains said. “They came in and conducted an audit. Once it was complete, they turned it over to the KSP.”

Mains said he could not comment further on the investigation, but did say Davis had worked as treasurer for the VFD for several years.

Magistrate Scotty Lippert did mention the department’s policies on handling funds.

“I hope the fire department policies have changed to keep this from happening again,” Lippert said.

According to Eby, the policies have changed and two signatures are required to write checks and all members of the department have access to the budget information in order to see exactly where and why money is being spent.

He also said the department will have two audits at the end of the year-one in house and one out.

“We put too much trust in one person,” he said. “That will no longer happen.”

Magistrate Carl Allen said he proposed to approve the funding at an even $5,000.

The magistrates agreed and the measure was approved. The magistrates also proposed keeping an open possibility of assisting the department further if needed again.

Bracken County Judge-Executive Earl Bush said he believed it was important to assist the fire departments.

“Our fire departments do a lot for the county,” he said.

Also during the meeting, Bush announced that 58 user agreements for the new sewage line have been turned in.

The agreements are for residents between Augusta and Brooksville who are not currently hooked on to a sewage line. The line, which will be hooked to a new wastewater treatment plant that will serve all of the residents of Augusta, Brooksville and the area in between, is expected to be completed in 2020.

Anyone within 300 feet of the line will be required to hook on, though some may be granted extensions, depending on the status of their own septic systems.

According to the fiscal court, there are more than 90 people that would be affected.

Bush said the deadline has passed for the agreements to be turned in.

Other items discussed at the meeting included:

— Hearing tax rates assessments from districts throughout the county.

— Discussion on the possible closure of North Shady Lane. According to Bush, only one property owner lives in the area and has a gate along the roadway. Discussion will be held on closing the road at a later date.

— Approving general claims.

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Christy Howell-Hoots

[email protected]