APRIL 16, 2015
“Grand Extreme” entrance to be installed by state on new 23 connector, city will pay for power bill on street lights
By MARK GRAYSON
LOUISA, Ky. — City Council members voted unanimously to adopt a $2,683,125 “balanced’ budget for this year for the city water and sewage department. Council met last week in special session to discuss the controversial water plan and work out the details. Ron Cordle made the motion and Lisa Schaeffer the second and the measure passed 5-0 with Gloria Johnson not present at the meeting.
The city has been selling millions of gallons of water at a loss to Big Sandy Water, Inc. for nearly 20 years and faces the purchase of new equipment and heavy infrastructure work on the decades old system, There were no questions from council members and it was not revealed as to how much, if any, the new budget requires BSW to pay. Last year BSW purchased 93 million gallons of water from the city.
Much of council’s time was spent discussing street lights for a new entrance from Rt. 23 to the city near where Ky. Fried Chicken is located.
On the other end is the exit from Rt. 23 near where the BP station (which recently shut down after being purchased by the state). Mayor Harold Slone told council that the state will pay for some of the lighting as part of the project but is asking the city to pay the power bill and maintenance on the appromixately 22 lights that will be located in city limits.
The exit is referred to the “grand extreme” exit type, mayor Slone said. He said former Lawrence County State Rep. Rocky Adkins had garnered the funding for the extra nice exit after Adkins had done one in his home county near Sandy Hook.
The grand entrance will feature curbs, sidewalks, park benches and trees as well as the lighting and the state is going to absorb the extra cost.
“I think this is going to be good for the city since we will be getting a lot better exit with curbs, grass medians and other nice facilities while at first that was not part of the plan,” Slone said. “Paying for the extra lighting will not be too much for our budget to handle so I say we should accept this as it is. I’ve talked to state officials three times already and this is about the best we can do in my opinion.”
Council member Ron Cordle said the proposal is “a win-win for the city when all the taxpayers will pay for is the light bill and maintenance for 22 lights that are in the city limits.”
But member Angie MucGuire said she would like to know exactly what it will cost the city for the bill and the maintenance as did member Lisa Schaeffer who both voted “no” on Slone’s recommendation.
Mitch Castle made the motion and Cordle the second with Tom Parsons voting “yes” in a roll call vote with McGuire and Schaeffer voting “no’ making the final vote 3-2.
In other action the council:
Approved the appointment of Debbie Hanshaw as member of Board of Assessment Appeals.
Approved bids for surplus property for a total of $8,371 for three old pickup trucks, two old police cars, a dump truck and an old garbage truck.
Second reading of an Amendment Ordinance 2015-02, “An Ordinance regulating the Application for and Sales of Alcoholic Beverages and Establishing Licenses and Fees”. Mayor Slone and local ABC officer William Leedy said there should be beer and malt liquor sales beginning before the 1st of May. There are four beer only applicants so far. Leedy said there are three more applications for liquor licenses and only two can be accepted because of the size of the city.
“We think they (state) will decide on that in the next two or three months (See Lazer story)
Schooley Mitchell report from local agent Dr. Lee Balaklaw which contained a report that the company has saved the city just over $26,000 for the year in its communications system but Mayor Slone said he does not see how they can count an elimination of a service as a “savings’ when the city no longer has the service. He said there will be no more decisions made on whether to eliminate services without city approval.