Fearing for the safety of motorists along U.S. 68/80, two Cadiz residents addressed the Trigg County Fiscal Court Monday night in an effort to add signage and a turning lane to both entrances of Lake Barkley State Resort Park.
Jim Mullen and Wayne Gundry told the court during its regular meeting at the Trigg County Emergency Operations Center, that construction of U.S. 68/80 at the park entrance road — Kentucky 1489 — has led to some potentially dangerous road conditions.
Both park entrances — from the east and west — are difficult for motorists to see, Mullins said. The east entrance, he added, does not have a sign.
Without a turning lane, Mullen said In times of heavy or nighttime traffic it can be dangerous for motorists traveling toward Murray to exit off of 68/80 onto Kentucky 1489.
Mullen noted that across U.S. 68/80 from the east park entrance there are turning lanes that go into cornfields.
“There’s nothing there but a cornfield. They’ve got turning lanes there,” he said. “There’s one going into the cornfield to the left. We just want one to the right.”
Trigg County Magistrate Barry Littlejohn said the turning lanes to the cornfields allow the farmers to have access to their fields.
“They spent their money there, but where they really need to spend their money is for 1489 on the east side of that entrance to the park,” Mullen said.
Gundry said on the west end of Kentucky 1489, which directly accesses the park, is a small entranceway with inadequate signage.
“When you go into the park you have trailers, boats, motorhomes,” he said. “There isn’t enough room for a car. They have a turn lane, yes, but you can’t find where to turn in to. There’s no lighting down there and a brown sign. I think they’ve done a horrible job of showing people where they have to go.”
Gundry expressed his concern for the community and motorists along this route.
“My fear is that it’s probably going to take somebody getting killed in one of these two intersections for us to do something,” he said.
Trigg County Judge Executive Hollis Alexander noted that the construction is a “design and build project” and said “there are things that can be changed in the middle.”
Alexander said the fiscal court would submit a request to the state highway department for these additions.
“I do have a sneaky suspicion that due to lack of funds or due to everything that’s going on with the (Kentucky Transportation Cabinet) we’re probably not going to get a turning lane,” Alexander said. “You may get the road signs. We will request both. We will ask them to take a look at it.”
In other business:
•Alexander told the court that Hopkinsville Electric System and Pennyrile Rural Electric Cooperative Corporation officials will discuss their plans to expand broadband internet coverage into Trigg County later this month.
The utilities’ officials announced Thursday a private presentation will be conducted Nov. 18 at the Trigg County Justice Center because of COVID-19.
Alexander said he receives calls weekly from people trying to work from home, but cannot because of an inadequate internet connection.
“I think they’re going to make it better,” he said of the utilities companies.
•Alexander said Trigg County has had 267 COVID-19 cases, with 50 currently active. Magistrate Mike Wright joined the meeting by phone from quarantine after being around someone who had tested positive. Wright told the court his test results were negative for the virus.
He said the county received its CARES money check of $498,000 last week.
•Maj. Mike Sandbrink delivered the sheriff’s office report in the absence of Trigg County Sheriff Aaron Acree, who placed himself on administrative leave after fatally shooting 44-year-old Bennie “Shawn” Biby during an altercation last week at a local residence.
Acree will remain on leave until the state police finishes its investigation. Both Alexander and Sandbrink said they anticipate the sheriff will return to duty in time for the next fiscal court meeting at 6 p.m. Nov. 16.
Sandbrink returned to duty out of retirement Sunday. He is a 22-year veteran of law enforcement.
He reported that the sheriff’s office had 602 calls for service in October.
Sandbrink also encouraged the fiscal court to consider replacing at least two sheriff’s office vehicles which have nearly 200,000 miles on the odometers.
•Trigg County Magistrate Alana Dunn told the court in September she has received complaints about speeding on roads including King’s Chapel, Old Hopkinsville and Humphries roads. Dunn said she recommends setting the speed limit on King’s Chapel at 45 mph “to slow people down, but not be a speed trap.”