Bell County Fiscal Court approved a resolution to name a section of U.S. 25E honoring Pfc. Leonard F. Mason. The resolution was approved following a short public hearing, where no one objected to the resolution.
Dillard Barton, representing American Legion Post 14, addressed the court, stating his appreciation for the approved resolution.
“We appreciate it,” said Barton.
Road signs will be placed in the area with Mason’s name on them. A ceremony is expected for the official dedication of the road being named in his honor. No date was scheduled during the meeting.
Mason, a Bell County native, enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II. He received the Medal of Honor, which is the highest declaration awarded to any soldier in the United States for his actions during the landing of Guam on July 22, 1944.
On that day, Mason’s platoon was attacked by enemy machine guns. The platoon remained trapped inside a gully. Acting on his on will, Mason emerged from the gully and cleared a hostile position. Mason received several wounds and died the following day.
He was with the 2nd Battalion, 3rd Marine Division when the event occurred. He was an automatic rifleman.
In due time, the U.S. Navy named a destroyer after him, which launched in January 1946. It served in many locations, including Korea from 1950 to 1953.
In another matter during the meeting, Bell County Judge-Executive Albey Brock mentioned the FEMA blacktopping project. Brock stated FEMA allowed $11,605.80 for the project.
The only contractor bidding on the project was Hinkle Contracting, LLC. The bid was around $32,000.
Because the allowance from FEMA and the price of the bid being so far apart, the court voted to have the roads paved at county expense.
In another matter, four individuals were promoted to full-time employees during the meeting as well. Kari Scearse, David Barlow, Jessica Mink and Jason McCullough, each part-time deputy jailers, will began working full time on Dec. 13.
Other business taken care of during the meeting included:
* Payment of bills and necessary transfer;
* Accepting the treasurer’s financial statement for previous month;
* Accepting the sheriff’s claim sheet for the fee account for the previous month;
* Receiving committee progress reports;
* Approving payment of $169,026. 19 to Hinkle Contracting Co. LLC for paving of county roads (to be paid when funds are received);
* Approved payment of $28,260 to Willis Paving Inc. for paving of county roads (to be paid when funds are received);
* Approved an annual order setting the maximum amount for deputies and assistants for the Bell County Clerk’s Office;
* Approved the annual order setting maximum amount for deputies and assistance for the Bell County Sheriff’s Office;
* Approved the 2013 fee account budget for the Bell County Clerk;
* Approved the 2013 fee account budget for the Bell County Sheriff’s Office;
*Accepted checks in the amount of $642,853.33 from Bruce Bennett, sheriff;
* Accepted checks from Becky Blevins, clerk.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at email@example.com or by phone at 606-248-1010, ext. 208.