Knox County Judge Executive Closes Road & Sheriff Department

By: Jeff Allen Email
By: Jeff Allen Email

The heavy winds knocked down trees across Knox County, but there aren't any road crews to clear blocked roads. It's just one of many effects of a stalemate in the county fiscal court.

Knox County Judge Executive Raymond Smith shut down the county's road and sheriff's departments saying there's no approved money for fuel. Three county magistrates have not shown up for three meetings in a row this week putting a stop to county business.

The heavy winds knocked trees down into the roadway. Normally road crews would come by to clean up pretty quickly, but as long as the road department is shut down, it will just stay there, leaving a mess for nearby residents to deal with.

Lilly Abner says the road to her house is blocked by a tree making things difficult for most cars and all school buses.

"The parents will have to meet them or the kids will have to walk home," Abner said.

Knox County Sheriff John Pickard says he gassed up all his patrol cars before his department was shutdown so his deputies could still make necessary runs.

"Just run as long as we can and see what happens. It's really going to hurt us that way for sure," Pickard said.

County leaders haven't been able to approve payroll for hundreds of county employees including Lilly Abner's daughter, who worked on Election Day hoping to make some Christmas shopping money.

Abner says it's time for county leaders to work things out.

The Knox County judge called a meeting for Friday night in Barbourville. WYMT's Jon Sonnheim is in Barbourville and will have the full report on the meeting tonight on Mountain News Night Watch at 11.

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