Copyright © 2017 Home - Hostgator Reviews - Russellville, KY

August 16, 2011

MINUTES of REGULAR SESSION

of the BOARD of COUNCIL

of the CITY of RUSSELLVILLE, KENTUCKY

held AUGUST 16, 2011

 

The Russellville city council met in regular session on Tuesday, August 16, 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 Darlene Gooch present. Lanny McPherson’s seat has not been filled at this time.

Mayor Stratton asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the regular session held on August 2, 2011.

Gooch moved, seconded by Bell, to approve the minutes of August 2, 2011.

The mayor asked for any discussion and/or corrections; being none the motion passed with Davenport, Bell, Whipple and Gooch voting yes and Kinser abstaining because of her absence from the meeting.

The mayor asked the council to approve his appointment of Polly Porter to the Russellville Arts Council.

Davenport moved, seconded by Bell, to approve Polly Porter to the Russellville Arts Council.

The mayor asked for any discussion; being none the motion passed with Davenport, Bell, Kinser and Whipple voting yes and Gooch abstaining because of her position on the Arts Council board.

The mayor asked the council to approve his appointment of Brandon Steirsman to the Russellville Arts Council.

Kinser moved, seconded by Whipple, to approve the appointment of Brandon Steirsman to the Russellville Arts Council.

The mayor asked for any discussion; being none the motion passed with Davenport, Bell, Kinser, and Whipple voting yes and Gooch abstaining because of her position on the Arts Council board.

The mayor asked the council’s approval of Darlene Gooch to the Logan-Todd Regional Water Commission as the city’s representative.

Davenport moved, seconded by Kinser, to approve Darlene Gooch as the city’s representative.

The mayor asked for any discussion; being none the motion passed with Davenport, Bell, Kinser and Whipple voting yes and Gooch abstaining because of her appointment to the board.

The mayor asked if there were any committee reports.

Kinser passed out to the council an update from the Electric Plant Board. There has been changing to the pricing; the EPB has seen a decrease in revenue for May and June. This should all balance out in a 12 month rolling period and should be okay. The fiber optic is close to being up and running. The annual audit is being prepared. The board voted to decrease the percentage rate to .50 for customer deposits held there; this is down from 1%. Kinser asked if there were any questions.

Davenport asked when the fiber optic was going to be on line for homes and Kinser said they were hoping things will start moving this next month with all of the testing is being done so hopefully within the next couple of months.

Next on the agenda was a financial report of city accounts by City Clerk/Treasurer Bob Riggs.

On the agenda under old business was an update on the vault in Carrico Park Square. The mayor said Bill Pearson had met with PSK on the project and would update the council.

Pearson said he had talked to PSK about the installation of the vault and the dimensions had been given to the fabricator to make. Pearson said he had expressed council’s strong desire to have installation (completed) and landscaped back before the festival; his tentative date was August 29th to get started on it and it will take about a week.

Next on the agenda were the Streetscape bump-outs. Pearson reported in talking with the fabricator the city could get those done, with the slits and made of galvanized material. This or stainless steel would be the best to stop rust. The cost would be between $30 and $35 a foot; this is the closest estimate they could give me. This would be a total of $1,200 for fabrication with the city installing it. He does not think it will make a lot of difference in the price of the material, the labor will be what costs so much; it will figure about $10 to burn those. Pearson said he still has a problem with the way the water runs down through there.

Davenport asked the approximate total dollar amount on the project and Pearson said if the city does it all somewhere between $1,000 and $1,200 for the materials. Davenport asked if it would create any problems drainage-wise and Pearson explained the problem was already there because the width is already there and the water flow will overflow it when it is really raining. This will not create any more problems than what we have there already.

The mayor said the council needed to decide what it wants to do on those bump-outs; if we think we need to remove the ones at the corner of 5th and Main Streets. Sooner or later we have to make the call; do we want to take the set out at the corner of 5th St or do we want to leave it.

Davenport said he hated to see the city spend $1,200 on them and then take them out later. The mayor said this was why he was asking. Davenport said take them out.

Whipple said they had them around the square in Bowling Green.

Kinser asked was this the one they have had the concerns about and the mayor said his biggest concern was the one at the corner of 5th Street. Whatever you are driving you have to get way out in the middle of the road to get up through there. He said right now he didn’t think it was feasible to try and pull out there.

Davenport said if the one across from city hall is left wouldn’t we still have to do the plate and the mayor agreed. Davenport asked if, in regards to the grant, we could even remove them and the mayor said once it was finished he thought we could do anything we want to do.

Gooch asked even if there was still money left in it (grant account) and the mayor said once we finish phase out. Gooch said even on down (sidewalk) it was still phase two; it was all one bunch of money. The mayor said it might be phase two but we don’t have the plans to go any further down until we get it detailed out. The mayor told the council we need to think about the bump-outs from here on out, especially when it’s at a corner. The corner of 5th should have been done like the one on 4th Street. Gooch asked if anyone had contacted the state and talked to them and the mayor said he wasn’t calling them until the council makes up its mind as to what it wants to do. Gooch wondered because when you go to other cities they are telling you to put the bump-outs in for safety.

Bell moved, seconded by Davenport, to take the bump-out on the corner (5th St) out if we can (if it can be done).

The mayor asked if there was any other discussion; being none the motion to take the bump-out on the corner (5th St) passed with Davenport, Bell, Kinser, and Whipple; Gooch abstained because of her position with Main Street.

An audience member, Pat McCoy asked what Pearson meant when he was talking about steel and the mayor explained between the bump-out and the curb there was 10” or 12” where if someone stepped down they would step in-between the opening; this will just keep you from doing that. McCoy said they wouldn’t be seen if it snowed either and people could run over them.

Next on the agenda under new business was Resolution 2011-08, Main Street Streetscape project Phase II.

City Attorney Neil Kerr said the second page of the resolution was an agreement authorizing the mayor to enter into the agreement. The agreement was simple; basically the current Streetscape agreement went through June 30th of 2011 and is extending the time until June 30th of next year. This will renumber the agreement and allow us to get into Phase II. Kerr read the resolution to council.

Kinser moved, seconded by Whipple, to approve Resolution 2011-08.

The mayor asked for any discussion; being none the motion passed with Davenport, Bell, Kinser and Whipple voting yes and Gooch abstaining because of her position with Main Street and the Streetscape project.

Next on the agenda was financing on the firehouse. Mayor Stratton said this should actually be fire truck.

Riggs told the council he had given the council handouts on what the different banking institutions had quoted on the truck. Riggs explained the quotes were a little flexible in that they can change in the two weeks since he had received the quotes; interest rates not cost. He has lettered the proposals A through F preferring to use those instead of the name of the banks. The principal is the same on all, $320,000, the interest depends on the rate and the number of years financed. Letter B was the lowest interest rate and the second was letter A. Riggs said he could tell council the one he recommended if they liked.

Kinser said she thought it would be helpful if Riggs recommended to the council either a 5 or 10 year based on daily operations and the city finances. Riggs said he loved to finance things short term but even the best 5-year one (quote) was $69,000 a year and it would be a little tough to do that. He said on the other hand if you go long-term it doesn’t mean the money that is still available is necessarily going to make it easier because there will always be another project come up that has to be done.

The mayor asked if we went ten years couldn’t we just always pay more and Riggs answered yes. Riggs explained there was a 1% of the remaining balance if you want to pay it off at any time which is almost nothing.

Davenport said there was a good chance the city was always going to be in debt for some type of emergency vehicle so what would be the difference going long term even if we leased one. He suggested we go long term and maybe double up on payments.

Davenport moved, seconded by Bell, to go long term with Letter A.

The mayor asked if there was any further discussion.

Kinser asked Riggs before the vote what she should do and Riggs told her since it was a banking question she might want to abstain.

The motion to approve going with Letter A, long term passed with Davenport, Bell, Whipple and Gooch voting yes and Kinser abstaining because of her profession.

Radio Correspondent Don Neagle asked since the motion had been voted on could the name of the bank be revealed and the mayor supplied the council had gone with BB&T. Kinser said just to clarify the quote had come from the governmental banking department and she had nothing to do with it.

Next on the agenda was a notice for a public hearing on property tax rates.

Riggs had previously handed council the recommended rates and a notice of public hearing had to run twice in the paper before the hearing. Once that takes place we wait 7 days to have the first reading of the ordinance setting the rates. The rates can be changed at any time until the second reading. If we leave our tax rates the same we will have a little more revenue. We have not changed the tax rate since 2004. What I have proposed is the exact same rate once again. The target date for the actual reading of the ordinance would be at the September 6th meeting. Riggs asked council if they wanted to go with the way the public hearing was presented to them (written). He doesn’t think a motion is needed, just the ability to publish the notice.

Kerr asked Riggs if the notice he wanted to publish was just for the year and Riggs said yes, it was just a notice for a public hearing. Kerr agreed there was no need for a vote to publish.

Under other business the mayor asked the council for a motion to pay the bills in the bill payment folder.

Kinser moved, seconded by Gooch, to approve paying the bills in the folder. The motion passed unanimously.

The mayor told council the council had recently talked about getting a cost on two sections of paving. One was from Peyton Street to North Main on Second Street ($42,301.00) and also Second Street from Southern States to the bridge that circles and goes to what is actually West Fourth Street ($29,957.00). He said if we do both of these it will total $72,258.00. We currently have $150,000 in Road Aid and should be getting $80,000 more this month.

The mayor asked the council’s approval to pave both of the areas at a total cost of $72,258.99

Gooch moved, seconded by Kinser, to pave both of the areas discussed.

Davenport asked once this was done would they then take the priority list and finish the money out. The mayor said yes we were doing road cuts now then we would start on the priority list.

Roll call on Gooch’s motion was unanimous.

The mayor asked council for a motion to get rid of the flowers and weeds growing in front of Sonic on North Main Street.

Davenport moved, seconded by Kinser, to mow down the flowers, weeds and grass in front of Sonic on North Main Street.

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

The mayor asked if the council had anything they wanted to bring up, they did not.

The mayor asked if the audience had anything they wished to bring to council’s attention.

Linda Reed and Pat McCoy with the Garden Club had concerns about the urns the club had placed on the square recently. They have spent over $500 on those as well as the plants in them and have other plans for the fall as well as other seasons. Reed said the club had been told they were going to have help in watering the plants because they have elderly members. She asked how they could work out a plan that if they keep beautifying this area of the city that they are going to be watered.

The mayor said he was told when they were planted that the city would be assisted in the watering and asked if this was correct. Reed said she didn’t know but she was told the city was going to water them. They started watering them in the beginning but they have lives and now they are all gone. The mayor said it would be taken care of tomorrow.

Jeff Rogers told the council there was a property off of North Morgan, which according to Bill Pearson will not be cleaned up because Rogers owns ¾ of the gravel road leading to the property. Rogers said he has been told in order for the city to do anything about it (property getting cleaned up) he would have to give the city a fifty foot easement on the gravel road and give the landowner who is not cleaning the property up a fifty foot easement. Rogers said he would not give his land away. He bought the property in 1997 and was told by the owners at that time the property was in the county. The existing city limit sign is still at the end of my gravel road where it was when he bought the property. Rogers said he built a house there and six years later he got a city property tax bill. This was about the same time the city wanted to annex everything close to the new 68/80 by-pass. When he dug into the matter he found the previous owners put the property in the city. He said there were seven people that own property in the area, in the city limits. Rogers said five of the seven have told him they want it back in the county (out of the city). The original landowner in 1996 (he bought the property in 1997) told Rogers the property was in the county. It was put under the table. In 2002 the Property Valuation Administrator, Ben Brown, was called and told that this property had to have city taxes on it. Rogers said he was here tonight to ask the city council to get this property back in the county, remember five of the seven want it in the county. He would like to see them do this tonight so he can get somebody to clean the property below him up. If not back in the county Rogers said he would ask the mayor to get in touch with the seven people and give us (them) the right to say whether we want it in the city or county. He has talked to someone in the county who has said if Rogers can get it put in the county they would get the neighbor’s property cleaned up. In 2010 he (the neighboring property owner) had taken a pole barn down and stacked it on his fence and the flood brought it to my fence line. In 2011 the floods did the same thing. The lumber with the nails in it is on the edge of the creek bank now, part of it. Rogers said he had a receipt where he paid $225.00 to remove beaver dams out of the city creek.

The mayor asked Rogers when he had paid for that and Rogers answered he paid it on December 20, 2010. The mayor asked if the neighbor needing to clean up his property has access into his property and Rogers answered he does not have a legal access to his property. He explained when his deed was written the original landowners land-locked his property, I didn’t have anything to do with it. He is land-locked but there is an access where he has been going in and out. He has to (be) going in because he has carried garbage and piled it on his property. Rogers said he gets letters from lawyers saying he (Rogers) has kicked him out but Rogers said he hadn’t kicked him out but put a one strand fence and some water to make him go in down there but he was going in wherever he wanted. Rogers said he was not going to give the city a fifty foot easement on the existing gravel road; he was not going to do it. He said if he is made by the courts he guesses he will do it. The property was put in the city in 1996 under the table for six years. I got my first city tax bill in 2002.

The mayor asked if any of the council had any comments on Rogers’ statements and Kinser said she wasn’t an attorney but she thinks it is a legal issue. She would think Rogers would have to give the city the fifty foot easement before the city is allowed to come onto his property.

Attorney Kerr said the issues were the clean up. The city (Pearson) has said they cannot go in and make the owner clean up. Pearson said he has told Rogers the city does not have a legal access to his property. Kerr said the only mechanism for the city to make someone clean their property was the Code Enforcement Board. Pearson said he has asked Mr. Rogers why he would not give him (owner) a legal easement just to get to his property instead of being land-locked and he was unwilling to do that.

Rogers said he had not land-locked the property.

Kerr said the land-lock issue was a private party issue to litigate. Generally speaking someone that is land-locked can go to court and the court would order access to property.

A lady asked if he would have to buy a right-of-way and Kerr said he wasn’t saying he would have to buy a right-of-way, he was saying that would be a legal issue for a court to decide.

Rogers said his issue is he was lied to by the previous owners. If the city will not help do anything about cleaning this property up why should he pay city taxes?

Kerr asked Rogers if he was totally surrounded by property that is also in the city and Rogers said yes. Kerr said then if Rogers was taken out of the city he would be surrounded by property left in the city and Pearson answered yes.

Bell said she understood what Rogers was saying, she had been out there and if it is in the city limits the property does need to be cleaned up.

Kerr said the city had Code Enforcement to help keep property clean and he wasn’t speaking for the county but he would be surprised if someone from the county at a fiscal court meeting would say to Rogers’ they would come in and remove that (junk). We have stricter things in place and that is one reason people want to live in the county; because of the restrictions in the city.

Rogers said the people, the ones he had talked to, had said they would help him. Bell is the only one that has even considered calling and talking to him about anything. He said he agrees that he is in the city (but) why does he want to pay city taxes and the city says they cannot doing nothing for him because he owns the gravel road so why do I want to pay city taxes and get no benefit. Rogers said this was why he wants back in the county.

Kerr said this would be the easement question. He said if the city had an easement it would also have an interest in the property; it would give us permission to come in and remove the problem. Rogers said he was not going to give the city a fifty foot easement, he would not. Kerr said that would be the only route the city could go and Rogers said he would not do it. Rogers said he thought the property should be put back into the county.

Kerr said he would be glad to look into it for Rogers but what he would be looking at is whatever the process could be.

Gooch asked if the person who needs to clean their property up been contacted by Code Enforcement to clean it up. Captain Roger McDonald said he had spoken to the owner last week. Gooch asked if this was the first time he had been contacted and was told no, this was an on-going situation over the last few years. McDonald said he had also talked to Rogers today and they were trying to work through it but it was going to take a while.

Kerr said the issues between the two parties were way outside of what government can do. One party needs a lawyer to find an easement and one party is looking for an injunction to tell the other party his property is a nuisance to mine, clean it up. Kerr said this was two private party civil actions that neither the city, county nor state would be able to do anything.

Gooch asked if the owner with the messy property is saying he didn’t have a way in there to clean it up and Pearson answered he did not have a legal access to his property. Gooch asked how long he has owned the property and Rogers said before he owned his. He built his house in 1998 and the man has never cleaned it up. People have mowed it for the hay just to keep it cleaned up and the last time he had half the police in Russellville there. Rogers said he knows he does not have a legal access because the last time he asked him he wanted to know what it would cost to get an easement into his property. I told him it would cost him $10,000 to get an easement in there.

Davenport said as far as the clean up the city could not go on the property without an easement.

Rogers said he was tired of paying city taxes when he was not getting any benefit. He said the five property owners (including him) would like to the 90 acres put back into the county. Rogers said his biggest problem was the city has a problem going into his gravel road that he owns ¾ of and he doesn’t think he needs to be paying city taxes because the city does not do anything for us.

Pearson said even if Rogers could be (put back into the county), there were two things; first he can’t be a legal island, it is spot zoning in reverse. It is illegal in the state of Kentucky. If you do go through the process and all of you want to be taken out of the city you have to go through the same process you would if you were annexing in. It would have to go before the planning commission, then before city council for two readings so you would be looking at some time to do that. Pearson said this person would also have to join Rogers in the annexation process. Rogers asked did the majority not rule and Pearson said not there. That’s not how property rights work and Kerr agreed with that statement.

The mayor said he understood Rogers’ situation and he would have Kerr check into it and go from there.

The mayor said there was a need to go into executive session for reason of personnel and possible litigation.

Kinser moved, seconded by Bell, to leave regular session and enter into executive session for reason of property and possible litigation. The motion passed unanimously.

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

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

ATTEST:

_________________________                                                                                             _________________________

City Clerk                                                                                                                             Mayor