Construction crews continue to work on several projects across Carroll County even as colder temperatures hit the area.

The streetscape project, funded in part by a transportation grant that was awarded to the county in 2009, began recently, Carroll County Judge-Executive Harold "Shorty" Tomlinson told the Fiscal Court on Tuesday.

The project will give the Carroll County Courthouse square new lighting, landscape and sidewalks by the end of the project.

Crews work weather permitting, Tomlinson said. Old sidewalks have been removed by the general contractor Churchill McGee of Louisville, and some of the concrete for sidewalks was poured recently.

Work also continues on the HVAC project at the Courthouse. The units are working, Tomlinson said, but there are a few final punch lists still out on the project.

The Fiscal Court also discussed the need for a new cooling system at the William Wheeler Hall of Justice. Carroll County Circuit Court Clerk Laman Stark approached the Fiscal Court last year about the issues with the air conditioning unit.

"He would like to see us replace it," Tomlinson said of the system.

A compressor failed at the building, and the air conditioner no longer works. The Fiscal Court received a response from the Kentucky Administrative Office of the Courts late last year noting that the state does not have funds to help in any way to fix the issue. The county will be responsible for the repairs.

Magistrates agreed to look into prices for a compressor for the system, as well as replacement costs for the entire system.

Magistrates also agreed to fix the heat exchange that went out in the heating system at the Carroll County Detention Center.

Tomlinson also discussed other recent meetings he attended. A meeting with the state economic development cabinet went well, he said, but several new faces were in attendance.

"That cabinet has really changed," he said.

Very few people that the Carroll County Fiscal Court met with previously remain in their capacity on the cabinet.

Another meeting with the Kentuckians For Better Transportation also went well with talks continuing this year about drinking and driving, texting and driving, as well as the importance of wearing seatbelts.

The group recently obtained a texting simulator that businesses can bring to facilities to show workers and citizens the dangers associated with texting and driving, Tomlinson said. Kentucky passed a law in 2010 that makes texting while driving against the law.

"I think we all probably know that (texting is dangerous), but we still sometimes do it," he said.

In other business:

• Magistrates approved the second reading of a budget amendment for about $10,800. The money was transferred into the jail fund because of unbudgeted receipts.

• Carroll County Coroner David Wilhoite requested permission for lights and sirens on his vehicle as allowed by a house bill passed by the Kentucky legislature. Magistrates unanimously approved the request.

• Magistrates agreed to give $350 to the Carrollton Fire Department for educational materials used in the local schools.

• Magistrates also agreed to award $5,000 to the Faith Community Pharmacy, which allows people without the means to buy prescription medicines. The group provided nearly 1,300 prescriptions to people in need last year.

"Best thing about it, they don't give pain medicine," Magistrate Dean Miller said.

• North American Steel asked the Fiscal Court to hold a first reading on refinancing bonds for the company. The bonds are currently traded on the stock market, but the refinancing will allow the bonds to be held by Wells Fargo Bank for three years, NAS Vice President of Finance and Administration Mary Jean Riley said.

"It's all NAS debt," Riley said. "It's not on the county."

Still, the refinancing will allow the company to not worry about fluctuations in the markets as much, she said.

Bill Skees with Frost Brown Todd law offices said the company will have more stable rates on the bonds instead of the instability that the market has caused recently.

"It should reduce interest rates," Skees said.

• The next Carroll County Fiscal Court meeting will be held at 9 a.m. on Feb. 9 in the Fiscal Court room.