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November 22, 2011




Held NOVEMBER 22, 2011


The Russellville city council met in regular session on Tuesday, November 22, 2011, at 5:00 p.m., in city hall. Mayor Mark Stratton presided over the meeting with council members Jimmy Davenport, Pat Bell, Sandra Kinser, Jack Whipple and Bill Decker present; council member Darlene Gooch was absent.


Mayor Stratton asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the regular session of council held on November 8, 2011.


Davenport moved, seconded by Kinser, to approve the minutes of November 8, 2011.


The mayor asked for discussion or corrections; being none the motion passed unanimously.


The mayor reported the city would wait 30 days before removing the tree in the park; it will be replaced with another tree. He received a letter this week from Suddenlink cable service advising the city that effective December 11th the rates will be changing. The city is accepting internal and external applications for the part time position of Code Enforcement Director until December 1st at 2:00 p.m.


Council member Pat Bell gave a report on the fire department. She took the opportunity to thank all of the fire departments that helped with mutual aid during the recent fire close to the old hospital.


City Clerk/Treasurer Bob Riggs gave the financial report.


In his report Riggs noted the city had received a $20,000 donation for the new park from the Electric Plant Board. Larry Wilcutt with the EPB noted the $20,000 was not actually a donation, it was prepaying for advertising for a number of years. There is to be a sign erected at/on the playground equipment to say furnished by the Electric Plant Board. This is because technically the EPB is not allowed to make donations but we are allowed to do Goodwill advertising.


Under old business the mayor gave the council an update on the new firehouse. The floors have been sanded this week. I, along with some of the firemen, will prime the floor Friday and put the epoxy on it Saturday. We will leave it with no traffic for 4 or 5 days. We are planning on being in there on December 6th. Decker asked if the mayor was still planning on a dedication ceremony and the mayor said he was but there were no definite plans as of now. The mayor said there was also a couple of smaller things that needed to be done outside and we may have to do something different in regards to traffic and getting in and out for a couple of weeks. Davenport asked if the mayor had plans to utilize the space when the fire department moves and he said he hasn’t thought about the bay area yet.


Next on the agenda was Wilcutt with the EPB to give the council the annual report on the audit. The result was an unqualified opinion and accepted by the board on October 20, 2011.


The mayor asked Wilcutt about peak hour cost-if someone is using a lot they will pay the price for it. Wilcutt said when the rates changed in April 2011 they put a clause in that said these rates will stay in effect until October 2012 at which time all distributors will go onto the wholesale time and use rate. We will be paying for a much higher cost on peak hours. People that use electricity during those peak times, will be driving our cost and the people who are not using (during the peak times) are going to be paying. The new meters will read every hour. If someone is using electricity in the peak hours they will pay a higher price. The mayor asked Wilcutt how the customers would know when the peak hours were and Wilcutt said they would be published; they will vary and everything now is subject to change. Decker asked how the new system came in on budget and Wilcutt said he did not know that yet but thinks it will be either under or at budget.  Decker asked the return on the investment and Wilcutt said they would not have a bottom line profit until about the 10th year.


Next on the agenda were requests for streetlights. One is at 902 Brookhaven and the other is on Norton Alley. This runs behind East 4th Street at Mutt’s Liquors. There is nowhere to put a street light here. He talked to Wilcutt yesterday and asked what could be done. If Wilcutt reports back that a pole can be set there what does the council wants to do. This will help with any issues in that area. Wilcutt said typically this was not unprecedented. In the Brookhaven area all of the utility lines are in behind the house and the council in the past had us set some poles on the street where we had access to a transformer we could get to. I will try and look at this. Cost-wise it would be for a short pole and the labor to put it in. The charge to the city’s account each month would be minimal.


The mayor asked for a motion to put a streetlight at 902 Brookhaven (intersection) and Norton Alley. Whipple asked if one or two was needed on Norton’s Alley and the mayor said he would leave that up to Wilcutt.


Whipple moved, seconded by Bell, to put a streetlight at 902 Brookhaven (intersection) and either one or two in Norton’s Alley.


The mayor asked for any other discussion; being none the motion passed unanimously.


Next on the agenda was the purchasing of new police vehicles. Police Chief Victor Shifflett explained there were 3 vehicles mostly used in policing, Impala, Ford Interceptor and Dodge Charger. Shifflett said from his research the Impalas would be the best options for the department because equipment could be taken out of the existing impalas and put in these for a small fee for transfer equipment. The new Fords may have issues.


Whipple asked if these Impalas would be better than the previous ones and Shifflett said yes and he has checked with other people who have used them. Decker asked how many vehicles Shifflett was asking for and was told six and they had been budgeted for. Decker said the Impalas were the lowest bid and we also had a local dealer.  Bell asked Shifflett about buying the cruisers from a local dealer. Shifflett explained that when the bids go out for state bid the manufacturer will give the dealership a rebate to allow them to make money whereas the local dealership doesn’t get those rebates. What we are getting the cars for they cannot do and have to add the extra cost. The cheapest installer is out of Owensboro, Kentucky. They have a shop in Louisville where the cruisers are coming from and will go get them, outfit them and bring them to us. I would like to keep what I can local but there is not a big demand for installing this equipment; the graphics maybe but I’m not for sure.


The mayor asked for a motion to purchase six new police cruisers.


Kinser moved, seconded by Bell, to proceed (with the purchase).


The mayor asked for any discussion; being none the motion to purchase the vehicles passed unanimously.


Decker asked if six vehicles were going to be taken out of service and Shifflett said yes. The mayor said one may be used for a code enforcement vehicle.


Next on the agenda was the police car financing. Riggs said he had contacted the local banks and what he was handing out were their responses; there were only 2 options. Both are low and a good deal. If council wants to go with the lowest rate that would be fine.


Upon a question from Whipple Riggs explained on $150,000 over the period (of the loan) we would actually owe one half of that $75,000, average so each year would be $750 a year or $2,250 for the whole time. Riggs said this was for one percent. The difference is actually more than that.


The mayor asked the council for a motion on which bank loan to accept for the financing of the police vehicles.


Bell moved, seconded by Whipple, to accept the lowest bid.


The mayor asked if there was any other discussion; being now the motion passed with Davenport, Bell, and Whipple voting yes and Kinser and Decker abstaining because of their employment with the two banks in question. The motion passes.


Next on the agenda was a discussion on the ban of 7H or synthetic marijuana in the city limits of Russellville. The mayor explained this was becoming a problem in our city and schools. It was marked as potpourri but many use as a cheap legal alternative to marijuana. The Bowling Green-Warren County Drug Task Force said businesses are claiming the substance is potpourri but they know very well what it is for. Many people have gone to the emergency after using this product. Some of the chemicals used in 7H have been banned individually in the United States.


Police Chief Shifflett explained in regards to 7H the issues are they are marketing it as potpourri which does not legally have to list its ingredients; there are no regulations on it. The manufacturers are putting this is some of the batches but not all of them. If you buy two packets in the same store one of them may come back for synthetic marijuana and the other may not. Either way if you smoke it, it is not good for you and that is what people are doing. If they smoke them one without the (K2) synthetic marijuana they will not get the same effect. Our officers recently arrested a young lady that had several packets. I relate it to meth, no single ingredient is life threatening but when you put them together in small doses. Over time you can see the progression of declining health. It affects a different part of the body as far as deterioration but it does on the inside. The time it may take your body to see these may vary. There is no regulation on how it is manufactured or packed.  Shifflett said it was safe to say in time it will be banned all together but we can’t wait; it is a simple process for us locally to take care of our people.


Davenport said he assumed we were going to adopt an ordinance on this so we probably need a wide range of products. Kerr said he agreed.


Decker said he thought everyone was in agreement something needs to be done so we should direct Kerr to look at somebody that already has the ordinance; we may have to tweak it some. Kerr said the biggest hurdle would be identifying the products.

Shifflett told the council if they passed this, banning the product, in an ordinance now it would allow him to go to the local convenience stores and tell them an ordinance has been passed and they have to get rid of it now. There may be someone, somewhere, fight it in court and they may win but we can do this in the meantime.


Kerr suggested putting in the ordinance it will also be illegal to go somewhere else and bring in back in Russellville.


The mayor directed Kerr to look into this right away so we could get on top of the situation.


The next item on the agenda was the review of the payment folder. The mayor asked for a motion to approve the folder if the council has had a chance to review them.


Radio correspondent Don Neagle asked Wilcutt and Shifflett if they would be willing to come to the station and talk about their current issues on air.


Kinser moved, seconded by Davenport, to approve the bills in the folder.


The mayor asked if there was any discussion; being none the motion passed unanimously.


The mayor advised there was a need to go into executive session for reason of property, personnel or litigation and pursuant to KRS 61.815(1)(a).


Decker moved, seconded by Davenport, to leave regular session and enter into executive session. The motion passed unanimously.


Decker moved, seconded by Davenport, to leave executive session and return to regular session. The motion passed unanimously.


Decker moved, seconded by Davenport, to give all fulltime employees a one-time pay increase of $100.


The mayor asked for any discussion; being none the motion passed unanimously.


Kinser moved, seconded by Bell, to adjourn the meeting. The motion passed unanimously.







______________________________                                                                ______________________________

City Clerk                                                                                                             Mayor