DECEMBER 9, 2015
Mayor seeks SOAR grant to provide $10,000 mini-grants to startup businesses in Louisa; Council votes to purchase five new vehicles…
Much of Tuesday night’s Louisa City Council meeting was business as usual. However, beyond the routine, was Mayor Slone’s proposal to apply for the Kentucky Appalachian Regional Development fund (KARD) grant recently made available from S.O.A.R.
SOAR, which stands for Shaping Our Appalachian Region, is a joint initiative by Governor Steve Beshear and Congressman Hal Rogers, in 2013, to address the poor economic climate that has plagued Kentucky’s Appalachian region for much of the area’s history, in hopes of re-energizing the area’s economy after the downturn of the coal industry.
Mayor Slone’s proposal would seek a $100,000 KARD grant for use to help boost local economic development by providing mini-grants of up to $10,000 to individuals seeking to start a new business in and around Louisa. $5000.00 of which would be repaid to the city after 1 year to fund additional mini-grants to other startups.
“If we can fund 10 start up business who will employee 2-6 people, that could add as many as 60 jobs to the city at no cost to us,” Slone said.
The motion to apply for the grant was passed by council unanimously.
In other business, Slone addressed the issue with flooding in the Berg and Meadowbrook Subdivisions. Heavy rains, in recent years, have been flooding large areas of the city neighborhoods, flooding heat pumps and nearly entering some homes. Citing the likely large scale of the issue, Mayor Slone established a committee to address the issue and propose solutions.
Appointed to the committee are Mayor Slone, Council Members Ronald Cordle and Mitch Castle, and City Employee Martin Wright, who Slone said will be able to provide views from a construction standpoint. Slone solicited Council to provide one additional committee member to be appointed at the next meeting.
Also on the agenda was a proposal from Greg Copley, Program Coordinator for the University of Kentucky Center for Applied Energy Research.
Copley addressed council with details of the Center’s proposed energy efficiency audit of city buildings and assets with a goal of locating areas in which upgrades could be made to lower city energy costs
The initial research provided by the Center would require the city to provide past utility bills, building information, such as square footage, and information on equipment at the water and sewer departments.
According to Copley, the city would not inquire any cost for the initial research and energy audit. The Center would submit the findings to the Energy Services Coalition, where multiple companies would bid and compete on energy savings projects for the city. “We guarantee that the energy savings will pay for any costs for upgrades,” Copley said.
Mayor Slone added that “the electricity bill for the water and sewer plants alone average $23,000” adding that potential upgrades there could drastically reduce costs in the long term. Council provided no objection to providing information for initial research.
Council also voted to enter into a lease agreement with Enterprise Fleet Management for 5 vehicles. The city has an urgent need to replace their currently aging and unreliable fleet. The City will be getting two trucks immediately to use for snow removal, with the remainder being delivered at some point throughout 2016.
Council heard from local citizens Matilda Baggett, and her daughter, concerning a sewer tap installed for Ms. Baggett in December 2014. Baggett claimed that she was charged the $600 fee for the sewer tap but was not provided one, since the city installers tied her sewer into her daughter’s line, who had previously paid for 2 taps, several years ago.
Mayor Slone stated that since he was not in office at the time of the events, that the only information he has of the situation is from Ms. Baggett herself and Water dept. employees. After lengthy discussion, council voted 5 to 1 to refund Ms. Baggett’s tap fee.
Motion was made to enter Executive Session to discuss potential litigation. After which council voted to enact executive session discussions and motion was made to adjourn.
NOTE: The Lazer management welcomes new city reporter Jason Helton to the team. Jason, 30, lives at Spring Hill. He is a graduate of Morehead State University where he majored in Business Administration.