The Richmond Register

Local News

May 18, 2013

Exit 95 rebuild delayed until 2017

RICHMOND — Originally scheduled for 2014, the reconstruction of Exit 95 on Interstate 75 won’t take place until 2017, Madison Judge/Executive Kent Clark told a joint meeting of the Richmond and Berea chambers of commerce Friday.

The state Transportation Cabinet is delaying the project, Clark said, until a decision is made on the proposed highway that would run from Exit 95 to Nicholasville.

Although state and federal project managers will be announcing four possible connector routes this summer, the no-build option is still on the table.If built, the connector would have a large impact on the interchange, Clark said.

The judge/executive, who traditionally delivers an upbeat state of the county address to the chambers, started with good news.

“Things are good; things are excellent,” Clark began, telling the audience the county will end the fiscal year next month with a balanced budget for the 20th consecutive year.

But, the audience audibly gasped when he said the Exit 95 project would be delayed.

News about the exit wasn’t all bad, however. The state recently awarded a $1 million contract to rebuild the road from Exit 95 to White Hall State Historic Site, which is adjacent to a county park.

The new road also will include a 10-foot wide walking/biking path, bringing to six miles the length of walk/bike trails around the park.

Completion of the Berea Bypass, from US 25 to KY 21 (Big Hill Road), could get started next year, Clark also said, reporting other good news from state transportation officials.

A $550,000 renovation of the Pleasant View House, 80 percent federally funded, at Battlefield Park is expected to start this year.

Although the county has been able to maintain services without raising taxes, governments at all levels, from cities to the federal government, are coming under financial stress, Clark said.

Because of its quality of life, Madison will continue to be one of Kentucky’s fastest growing counties, the judge/executive said. But, as the general population grows, so does the jail population.

That is making the detention center perhaps county government’s greatest challenge, he said.

The 192-bed facility routinely houses more than 275 inmates. That number often includes state prisoners for whom the county is paid more than the daily cost of their upkeep. When a jail’s population exceeds capacity by more than 25 percent, however, the state begins moving its prisoners to other counties. Then the county loses that income.

Without jail expansion, only local prisoners will be in the county jail two years from now, costing the tax payers at least $1.6 million annually. In four years, even local prisoners are projected to overfill the facility, and the county will have to pay other detention centers to house its prisoners. That would push the county’s incarceration expenses more than $2.5 million beyond current costs, Clark said.

The county is studying the construction of a 100 to 150-bed facility on the site of the demolished Miller Building next to the jail, the judge/executive said.

Another future problem is funding the county’s consolidated 911 emergency calling system. It is being financed primarily by a $3.50 monthly fee on landline telephones. However, the number of those has dwindled to only 22,000. Locally based cells phones are charged only a 70-cent monthly 911 fee.

“Is it fair,” Clark asked, for landline phone users to bear the burden of financing the 911 service?

Nearby Garrard and Lincoln counties are attempting to place a fee on water meters to fund their emergency calling systems. That would spread the 911 cost more evenly, the judge/executive said.

Although serving in elective office is “not all peaches and cream,” Clark said he would like to continue being judge for awhile. His term expires in 2014.

In addition to hearing the state of the county address, Friday’s luncheon also was the graduation for Leadership Madison County. That helped swell attendance to record numbers.

The interest in Leadership Madison County and the luncheon attendance both reflect the county’s promising future as well as the optimism of its residents and their desire to be involved, Clark said.

Bill Robinson can be reached at or at 624-6690.

Text Only
Local News
  • 8-1 Tanya R. Horn.jpg Store employee charged with taking $10,000

    Tanya R. Horn, 33, of Darlene Court, pilfered $10,196 in cash from Posh Tots on Meridian Way over the course of two years, according to a Richmond Police report.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

  • 7-30 Candids 1.jpg Madison County Fair paid admissions total 10,000 by Tuesday

    Approximately 10,000 people had purchased tickets to the Madison County Fair by Tuesday evening, Billy Tudor, fair board president said Wednesday morning.
    The count does not include Sunday’s Family Fun Day, which offered free admission, Tudor said.

    July 31, 2014 10 Photos

  • 7-31 Pageant Toddler Girl Winners.jpg Babies, toddlers crowned at Madison County Fair


    July 31, 2014 4 Photos

  • Airport getting $600,000 in federal funds

    On July 14, Gov. Steve Beshear announced the Madison Airport and the Eastern Kentucky University aviation program would be receiving $1.1 million for expanded and improved facilities.
    On Wednesday, U.S. Rep. Andy Barr, R-Sixth District, announced the airport also would benefit from $600,000 in Federal Aviation Administration funds.

    July 31, 2014

  • Veggies going on the grill Saturday

    The Madison County Farmers Market will demonstrate Saturday that fresh garden vegetables can go on the grill as well as in a salad.
    The Madison County Extension Service staff, along with members of the extension homemakers clubs, will be on hand to show market customers how tasty grilled vegetables can be, said Gina Noe, extension agent for family and consumer sciences.

    July 31, 2014

  • Stumbo says McConnell ‘handpicked’ leader of coal association

    Democratic Speaker of the House Greg Stumbo said Wednesday there’s an obvious reason the president of the Kentucky Coal Association has publicly defended Republican U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell’s support of the coal industry.

    July 31, 2014

  • Berea utility doubles solar farm, again

    Berea Municipal Utilities started its solar farm in October 2011 with 60 panels. In less that five days, all were leased.
    Another 60, which became operational in June 2012, were leased in less than four months.
    Now, the farm again has doubled, with the addition of 126 panels that are ready for leasing, said Steve Boyce, a retired Berea College professor who has been involved with the program since its inception.

    July 30, 2014

  • Miss Madison Winners 2.jpg My fair ladies


    July 29, 2014 5 Photos

  • 10th Quilt Extravaganza is Friday, Saturday

    Displays of quilts by men, baby quilts, the Grandmother’s Flower Garden pattern, an exhibit of feed sack fabric, ongoing demonstrations, and a vendors market are features of the 10th Berea Quilt Extravaganza Friday and Saturday at Berea Community School off Ellipse Street.

    July 29, 2014

  • 7-30 Samantha Frederick.jpg RPD: Heroin sales lead to trafficking indictment

    Executing a warrant issued after Samantha Frederick, 29, Northgate Drive, was indicted July 16 by a Madison County grand jury, Richmond Police arrested her Monday on drug trafficking charges.

    July 29, 2014 1 Photo