Trigg County Fiscal Court approved plans from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for rural secondary road improvements and heard an update from Trigg County Hospital at its Feb. 19 meeting.

Michael Oliver, Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District One representative, presented the list of recommended road improvements to the court. The list includes maintenance for 137 miles of rural roads in the county. It also includes repairs to Kentucky 272 from King's Chapel Road to the Christian County line, Kentucky 164 from Linton Road to Rock Front Loop, and Kentucky 164 from Old Dover Road to Kentucky 139.

The repairs are set to begin in late March and should be completed by June 30.

"The recommendations that I have given are just for rural secondary roads. That does not mean that these are the worst roads in Trigg County. This means that they are the worst rural secondary roads in the county," Oliver said about the cabinet's recommendations.

Later in the meeting, Trigg County Hospital CEO John Sumner explained to the court why the hospital has had so much trouble over the past few years and how they are improving.

"I want to explain where we started. In 2015, we started with a surgery center that was fixing to open. We had $2.5 million in accounts payable. We were still paying on a 1999 medsurge project, and we continue to have a lot of bad debt," he said.

Sumner talked about the number of cuts made to personnel, services and other areas to total more than $2 million. He also explained because of these cuts, the federal government withheld funding to the hospital, causing the hospital to lose more money than they had cut.

"We are already having Blue Company do an audit to see where we are going to be at the end of 2019," Sumner said. "We are hoping that we can get closer to our flat line, but in a critical access hospital, it is always going to be peaks and valleys."

Magistrate Jeff Broadbent asked Sumner if he felt the hospital would be able to run without the help of the court and the ambulance tax money.

"With the first two checks from the tax, plus the money that Hope Jessup has brought in by lowering our accounts receivable days, we are going to have $950,000 paid towards this $1.6 million hold back. We still have one check coming from the court for the taxes. So, 2019 Trigg County Hospital is looking pretty good," Sumner said.

In other news:

The court approved the purchase of a new fleet vehicle for the Trigg County Senior Center for $33,600.Joe Nichols, Joe Powell and George Radford were also re-appointed to the hospital board for another four-year term.

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