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Residents complain about speeders

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

Residents at Rainey Estates have something to say to Mercer County motorists passing their way.

Slow down.

Two residents, George Camic and Laura Devine asked the Mercer County Fiscal Court what could be done about reducing speeding in the area.

Devine said she has lived in Rainey Estates for eight years. She said most drivers stay under 35 MPH. But people who live on the straightaway complain about speeding. While there a sign warning drivers to slow down because of nearby children, some drivers just ignore it.

Devine and Camic asked what could be done to further slow down traffic. One of them brought a driver’s education manual, which states speed limits are 65 MPH on the parkway, 55 on other roads and 35 in business and residential districts.

The law in the manual relates to state-maintained roads, said Mercer County Attorney Ted Dean. The county could set speed limit on county-maintained roads. If there is no county ordinance governing speeding, the fiscal court would have to adopt state laws at the county level.

Then there is enforcing those ordinances. There are 250 miles of county maintained roads and the Mercer County Sheriff’s Office doesn’t have the manpower to police every mile of road. But the legal confusion also makes enforcement difficult, Sheriff Ernie Kelty said.

“There is not a doubt about a subdivision being a residential district,” Kelty said. But it was unclear whether a county road with some houses along it would qualify as a residential district.

To most people, this is a niggling distinction, but in a court of law those subtle nuances can hinder a successful prosecution.

“We’ve got to follow certain rules,” Kelty said. “When I walk into a courtroom, I need more than a ‘Slow, Children At Play’ sign.”

The sheriff said he needed a clear county ordinance in order to cite someone.

Dean said he would look into it and they will revisit the issue at the next meeting.

After the meeting, Devine said she teaches her children what’s in the driver’s handbook, but she’s not sure every parent does the same.

“It’s hard to follow something if you don’t know,” Devine said.

In other business, the Mercer County Fiscal Court:

• Agreed to use $221,130 in discretionary funding to blacktop Harvey Pike and Cornishville Road. The magistrates also agreed to use FLEX funds to pave Curdsville Road, Hogue Lane and Kyle Lane.

• Approved an increase for county inspection fees for commercial, low voltage and generators. The new rates are: 4 percent or $500 minimum for projects valued 0–$10,000, 3-percent or the $500 minimum for projects valued $10,000-$50,000, 2.5-percent for projects valued $50,000-$400,000, 2-percent for projects valued $400,000–$1 million and 1.5-percent for projects valued $1 million and above.

• Approved paying Boyle County Fiscal Court $40,500 for September jail operations and $3,000 for September jail administrative fees.

• Approved transferring $250,000 from payroll and net profit to jail fund and gave preapproval to pay over $22,000 in deputies’ salaries.

The next meeting of the Mercer County Fiscal Court will be Tuesday, Oct. 15, at 10 a.m. at the Mercer County Fiscal Courthouse on Lexington Street.

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