The property where the tower is located belongs to the city of Russellville. The property is also being utilized by the Electric Plant Board, Pennyrile Electric and Palco (that company which services the emergency radio systems for the county).
According to Toombs, each one of these agencies has a key to the gate, which she believes is against Homeland Security policy.
Toombs said one entity should be responsible for the lock and keys, she feels should that should be the ECC.
“We are open 24 hours a day. If someone needed to get into the gate all they would have to do is come by the ECC and check out the key and bring it back when they were finished,” said Toombs. “If we are ever going to apply Homeland Security grants in the future then we need to correct this problem.”
This issue came up recently when Palco was having trouble with a radio frequency and the company needed to access the tower. When they arrived all the locks were off accept one which nobody had a key to. Toombs called the fire department to come cut off the unknown lock, which no one has claimed.
“We cannot have locks on this gate that we cannot open. It is one of my responsibilities to keep our emergency personnel safe and if I can't get to our tower I take that very seriously,” said Tombs adding that there is currently no security at that tower.
Toombs also said there was no maintenance of the property. The city owns the land and is supposed to keep it cleared off, but Toombs recently visited the tower recently and said the weeds were chest high.
“I contacted the city, but was told they would get back to me, “said Toombs.
Magistrate Harold Price suggested inmates clear a pathway to the tower.
Magistrate Kerry Kenady suggested the county fence off the ECC tower separately from the rest of the towers and lock it. That way there would be no confusion.
No action was taken on the issue.