Accomplishments While In Office
In less than 4 years in office, I am pleased to report the following accomplishments for our citizens and our County.
With your vote, I will continue to improve the life of every resident of Boyle County.
Responded Quickly to Disasters
He immediately contacted state and congressional leaders to secure Major Disaster Area Designation. (This FEMA designation permits victims to access Federal relief, including low-interest loans.)
Judge Hunt worked alongside officials at the Danville-Boyle County Airport to evaluate the nearly $12 million in damages.
Judge Hunt and the Fiscal Court launched and managed the “Boyle County Cares” program which collected truckloads of tornado recovery supplies, Christmas toys, gift cards, and cash donations for Western Kentucky communities as well as local residents who were impacted by December 2021 tornadoes.
Judge Hunt called in the National Guard to secure the scene, keeping people and property safe during the clean-up operation.
"Thankfully we had not sent those vehicles to surplus auction yet, and were able to help their Sheriff's department have the vehicles they needed to help the Mayfield community heal and recover," said Hunt.
Judge Hunt joined other Boyle County volunteers to personally transport truckloads of recovery supplies to Mayfield.
Judge Hunt's years of experience in disaster response and recovery operations meant he was able to create a binder of essential disaster recovery information to help Graves County first-responders. It included an extensive Tornado Recovery Checklist.
He knew the many FEMA policies and procedures that must be followed to increase/maximize recovery outcomes including financial assistance. Hunt added, "I wanted to help the Graves County Judge employ all available methods to speed that community's recovery.”
Made Highways Safer
Judge Hunt supports and encourages new businesses to locate in Boyle County, but wanted to ensure the continued safety and convenience of county residents.
"Lebanon Road and Alum Springs were heavily traveled areas even before Wilderness Trail Distillery began business in Boyle County," said Hunt. "These new road funds will improve emergency vehicle access and traffic flow for area residents; while also handling the increased tourist traffic and enhancing the experience of visitors to Wilderness Trail and other County points of interest."
Judge Hunt said, “We are currently working with State Highway engineers to address the issues on this treacherous road to make it safer for our residents and to encourage economic development through better access to the Interstate 75 corridor."
The upgrade of this bridge was one of the most needed highway projects in Boyle County and Judge Hunt was instrumental in securing funding from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 7 for the new construction.
Funds from this project also enhanced the turning radius at the Buell Street/US Highway 68-150 stoplight and provided a safer walkway for non-motorist, who could now use the new pedestrian bridge constructed alongside the bridge.
To prevent the construction from inconveniencing commuters, travelers and emergency response teams, Judge Hunt insisted one lane of traffic remain open at all times because a complete closure during construction would have forced an 11-mile detour.
The old wooden bridge needed demolition and constructing a newly raised bridge would safely handle area travels and emergency traffic.
Judge Hunt said, “This project was greatly needed for the residents living in this part of Boyle County.”
Provided New County Services
Hunt, along with the Magistrates and the County Administrator, made Boyle County's case to Transportation officials Sarah Jackson and Commissioner Matt Cole.
Judge Hunt did extensive research to gather data for the presentation showing that 67% of Boyle County's daily workforce is out-of-county commuters. The presentation also highlighted our retirement and senior citizen demographics.
The Regional Driver Licensing Office is at 1714 Perryville Road, Suite 110, in Danville. The office is open Monday-Friday 8am to 4pm.
When Secretary Gray came to evaluate the location he said that the "old fashioned letter" as compared to the emails he normally received caught his attention.
When EMRMC became an early vaccination center and Hunt said, “I want the public to be assured that Boyle County is committed to caring for its citizens. With EMRMC now designated as a vaccination site, we are working daily to mitigate this virus and its impact on our citizens.”
On February 2, 2021 when the vaccines became available (per state guidelines) for long-term care residents and healthcare providers, EMRMC was able to give the vaccines. Soon thereafter, the general public was able to get the vaccines locally.
Hunt said, "During my first campaign I held 'Listen to Lead' meetings to hear the concerns and to discuss issues with citizens. I learned a lot about their concerns and the issues that mattered most to them.
'Listen to Lead' was so well received by citizens that I wanted to make face-to-face dialog between citizens and elected officials this easy too."
The result was 'Pulse of the People,' a fresh new way to encourage involvement and offer governmental transparency through open, two-way exchanges of information between Boyle County citizens and the Fiscal Court.
Although it was suspend due to COVID-19 restrictions, it continued once restrictions were lifted.
The program is conducted in each of the six magisterial districts on a rotational basis to make it convenient for people to attend, no matter where they live in the County.
He invited the Danville Mayor, the Emergency Medical Director, and the Boyle County Health Director to join in those broadcasts to offer their own critical updates.
Hunt said, ”During the early days the YouTube Channel allowed the county government to continue normal operations and never shut down."
Fiscal Court meetings were live-streamed so citizens could stay abreast of County business, even when they could not attend in person due to COVID restrictions.
Today, this YouTube Channel is still being used to provide Boyle County residents the opportunity to see fiscal court meetings via live streaming. Recordings of the livestreams are also posted to be viewed by citizens at any time from any location.
Improved Healthcare for Boyle County Jail Inmates
The programs encouraged inmates with histories of substance abuse to improve their lives by taking viable steps toward recovery.
Inmates who sincerely want to change were offered the tools through these programs to better their lives, get out of jail, and achieve their goal of becoming upstanding citizens.
This service had previously been provided by an out-of-state agency.
Hunt said, ”This new program will keep local tax dollars within Boyle County for all healthcare expenses incurred by jailed inmates. The program also helps the county because the hospital can offer reduced pricing on medications through the 340B program."
The Boyle County Detention Center Health Care Program will provide on-site medical care for inmates by EMRMC medical staff, telehealth visits, and prescriptions.
Protected County Resources
He listened as his constituents explained that they were paying more -- much more -- for their car taxes than just a year earlier, even though their cars were a year older.
He met with leadership in the Kentucky Legislature to discuss the Revenue Cabinet’s 40% increase in assessed motor vehicles.
Hunt told legislators, “This unexpected jump in valuation will likely create a hardship on our agricultural entities, small businesses and independent contractors.”
After Hunt’s appearance, two Kentucky Senate bills were passed to offer relief.
House Bill 6 addressed the method the Revenue Cabinet used to determine value and called for refund of overpayment. Senate Bill 75 then directed the department to freeze vehicle assessments at last year’s values.
Judge Hunt said it was important to get "in front of this issue and advocate for a reduction in taxes for our Boyle County citizens and citizens across our Commonwealth. No one should be forced to endure a 40% increase, simply because our nation’s supply chain has been mismanaged."
He worked to get Ephraim McDowell Regional Medical Center designated as an early Vaccine Center to make it easier for those in this and surrounding counties to get vaccines more conveniently.
He made sure citizens had the ability to stay informed about County government when in-person attendance at Fiscal Court meetings was not possible. A livestream was implemented for these meetings with recordings being uploaded online for convenient viewing at any time from any location.
He coordinated with County agencies to ensure that all citizens had access to up-to-date health information during the pandemic.
Hunt says, “The purpose of the Birthplace of Kentucky Committee is to advise the Judge and Fiscal Count on facility restorations, leasing, marketing policies, park sales, security, revenue generation and improved historical preservation.”
The committee was established to provide visitors with the ultimate learning experience about Constitution Square, Danville and Kentucky.
Upgraded County Infrastructure
Hunt directed the Fiscal Court to allocate $1.25 million from the American Rescue Act funds to improve Parksville Water District facilities.
Judge Hunt said, ”The money was needed to harden and rehabilitate exposed creek crossing water lines and to refurbish three large and very old water tanks that were under stress and vulnerable to failure.”
Judge Hunt was able to obtain $1.1 million from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to fund the Lake Village Water District.
Hunt said, “The money will be used to provide a low-pressure sewer system benefiting homes in the Gwinn Island Road area.”
Hunt said, “The fire station was needed because that area of county was more than five miles from the Boyle Fire Headquarters. Now the northern most point of the county will no longer be under served.”
A new metal building will be constructed on the site with a concrete foundation. It will house two fire trucks currently in the department’s inventory.
The new station will reduce fire protection insurance rates from 5-9% for the 250 homes in the 4th Magisterial District. Those benefiting include the areas of Highway 33/Shakertown Road, Hunt Farm, Gwinn Island/Spears Lane, Faulkner Station Road and Mock’s Creek.
Judge Hunt said, “We looked at our parking assignments and realized there were a lot of unassigned spots throughout our parking lot. We have now expanded public parking from 9 to 21 space all located near the public entrance.”
Each department head was tasked with assigning employee spaces for their staff in the employee lot.
The public has its designated spaces marked "VISITOR." Should all of these spaces be taken, the public may use additional spaces in the lot adjacent to the courthouse driveway off of Fourth Street.
Updated Boyle County's Technology
“I was surprised to find out the County was still using Lotus 123 and a DOS-based financial system. That technology is over 20 years old,” said Judge Hunt, "and is not up to the standards required to run a modern County."
Hunt said County officials discovered there was over $500,000 in unknown and uncollected taxes. Hunt said, ”That 'found' money was more than enough to pay off the new software system, and left over $300K to use on other projects!"
“We installed a new telephone system. Unbelievably, a task as simple as transferring calls was not possible in the old system. Our new phone system has a plethora of cutting edge capabilities and came in at about 1/3 of the budgeted $100,000 for the new system, without draconian lease agreements,” said Hunt.
Other upgrades made by Judge Hunt included upgrading the county’s website to provide a user-friendly way for the public to find information and a new email system that was more reliable and efficient for both employees and constituents.
The project, which cost over $232,000, was paid for by federal CARES funding. It provides 17 body and vehicle camera systems along with the necessary hardware to allow up to 12 hours of continuous HD recording. The system is WI-FI and GPS enabled.
Hunt said, "Our community and law enforcement officers now have the ability to protect and serve with confidence. The lack of body camera videos had been a concern in our community in recent months and we listened to the public and actively began searching for the resources to fund this need."
The Boyle County Sheriff’s office began utilizing the body cams in the fall of 2020.
Other Noted Accomplishments
Hunt said, ”This investment in Boyle County provides a growth path for students in advanced manufacturing training. This will dramatically improve the earning capability of area residents in cutting edge technologies while improving the quality of our workforce.”
In early 2020, the contract Boyle County had in place ended abruptly when the company went out of business. This left county officials with a sanitation dilemma. Although several Boyle County sites were considered, they were either determined to be unsuitable or met with citizens opposition.
Judge Hunt’s goal was to continue to support local agribusinesses, while adhering to residential concerns, with minimum impact to our quality of life. He worked tirelessly for an equitable solution.
The three bids received were $100K+ more than the contract that had ended abruptly.
Instead of accepting one of those bids, Judge Hunt and the Fiscal Court signed an agreement with the Boyle County Soil and Conservation District to remove the livestock at the same price as the earlier contract.
In addition, the Boyle Soil and Conservation District purchased a used truck for dead livestock removal and transferred the vehicle to the County at no cost.
The savings of over $100,000 allowed the County to continue an established process that is agribusiness and environment friendly, with no negative impacts on Boyle County residents, land, or budget.
Judge Hunt went into action and personally bought three rolls of hay and had them delivered as a stop-gap measure to keep the horses alive while he rallied volunteers and resources. Judge Hunt aggressively and compassionately facilitated rescue and re-homing of those animals.
Hunt brought in volunteers, farmers, business owners, and national rescue organizations to save the surviving neglected and malnourished horses.
Those responsible for abusing the horses were handled by the legal system and justice did prevail.
Looking to the Future
These are a few of the issues that I'm already working on to complete during my next term in office:
Upgrade Junction City & Perryville Water Districts/No Rate Hikes for 20 Years
Renovating the Boyle County Detention Center Without a Tax Increase
Relocating EMS, Environmental & Recycling, and Public Works
Providing County Wide Broad Band Internet Through a Private/Public partnership