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November 8, 2011

MINUTES of REGULAR SESSION

 of the BOARD of COUNCIL

 of the CITY of RUSSELLVILLE, KENTUCKY

 held NOVEMBER, 8, 2011

 

 

 

The Russellville city council met in regular session on Tuesday, November 8, 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, Bill Decker and Darlene Gooch.

 

 

 

Mayor Stratton asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the regular session held October 18, 2011.

 

 

 

Decker moved, seconded to Kinser, to receive the minutes of the October 18, 2011.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

The mayor asked for a motion to approve the minutes of the special session of city council held on November 1st.

 

 

 

Kinser moved, seconded by Bell, to approve the minutes of the special session held on November 1st.

 

 

 

The mayor asked if there was any discussion and/or corrections on the minutes.

 

 

 

Decker said he did not get a copy of those minutes. The mayor apologized and gave Neil Kerr, city attorney,  a copy of the one page minutes to read out loud (none of the council had a copy of them).

 

 

 

The mayor said near the bottom of the minutes should read the mayor asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting not approve them; correction was noted.

 

 

 

Being no other discussion the motion to approve the minutes passed unanimously.

 

 

 

Police Chief Victor Shifflett introduced to the council three new police officers; Officer Mike Reeser, Officer Samantha Reeser and Officer Ryan Johnson. Chief Shifflett said he would introduce two more officers at the next meeting.

 

 

 

The mayor reminded everyone that trash cans should be put at the curbs by 6:00 a.m. on collection day. Scott Waste will be disposing of leaf bags on the normal weekly schedule when left curb side and within 6’ of the container. The city is using the leaf vacuum alot trying to keep the leaves out of the gutter. Decker asked the mayor how many bags Scott Waste would pick up at one time and was told they could not pick them all up because then their truck would fill up; if they do not get all of them one week they should get them the next. The Veteran’s Day celebration will be Friday, Nov. 11th, at 10:00, in Carrico Square. On Sunday, Nov. 20th, from 1:00 pm until 5:00 pm will be the 46th Annual Christmas Open House.

 

 

 

The mayor asked if there were any committee reports.

 

 

 

City Clerk Bob Riggs reported the deGraffenried Committee had met recently. The deGraffenried Trust has a significant amount of money in deposits and loans outstanding to students. There is a value on those loans that is on our books. This amount has never been adjusted over the years. We had a reserve established about 10 years ago of $66,000 but there hasn’t been anything done since.  Riggs said he has talked with the deGraffenried committee who agreed that we need to take a more correct approach and write off some of the notes that have no chance of ever being paid and also to try and pursue the ones that there be a chance of. He has passed out a proposal that Gene Hargis and the other committee members agreed on. There are (at this time) 58 people we send statements to every three months if we can find them. Of those 58 there are 26 in a group we think we might be able to receive payments from; there are 32 we think we will never be able to receive a payment from. There is $80,666 we might receive money from and $82,352 we think there is no chance we will collect. The suggestion is write the $82,352 off; take it off of our books and leave the $80,666 and try to collect that and also to reserve 10% of that each year so that at the end of 10 years we will have those notes off of our books.  It was suggested to send attorney letters to those we think might pay and to discontinue adding interest to these notes. Sometimes interest accumulates on a note you are not receiving a payment on and the interest is higher than the original note.

 

 

 

Riggs asked for a motion to approve the write-off proposal of the deGraffenried bad loans.

 

 

 

Davenport moved, seconded by Whipple, to write-off the deGraffenried bad loans.

 

 

 

The mayor asked for any discussion.

 

 

 

Bell asked if there was any way when the city gives the loans out there was a way we wouldn’t end up in this same predicament.

 

 

 

Davenport explained that several years ago the recipients were under the impression these were not a loan, they were scholarships. Riggs said that was in the title, “Scholarship Loans”. Davenport said the recipients did not know these had to be paid back. He said he didn’t want the council to think the committee wanted to write off the money because they didn’t want to collect it. A lot of these will not be paid off because we have talked to individuals one on one and a lot of them were under the impression these were not a loan. The individuals thought there was some misrepresentation involved and they did not have to pay it back. There are names on the list some could not imagine being on there.

 

 

 

Decker asked what if the individuals were given the opportunity to pay and told we would be willing to forget about the interest, wipe out the interest if they will pay what they owe. Davenport said  the committee has written them off of our books to where they would balance but we still have the payments and people can still pay on the ones we wrote off. He said in other words we are still trying to collect on these we wrote off but the ones we don’t think are going to be collected we just got them off the books so she could balance the books.  Davenport said every one of them is still collectible. Decker said he thought we should write them a letter trying to at least get the (loan amount) even if there was no hope of getting the entire debt.  He asked Davenport if he thought the committee would consider this.

 

 

 

Riggs said there were two groups of loans; the first is 26 people that over the last 15 years, nine of them have made payments. We know who they are and might have the funds to make a payment if they want to. The other 32 are a different group as far as getting the principal amount; some are dead and some have moved or in jail or no one knows where they are. Decker said he wasn’t talking about those; he was talking about the better ones and not letting any interest accrue from here on.

 

 

 

Riggs said he thought the deGraffenried Committee were going to look at everything they can to collect the funds. Davenport said they had, even what Decker was talking about. When Mr. Hedges was the attorney every person on the list was notified or attempted to notify and the committee asked them if they would pay anything but the people are saying they do not owe it. Davenport asked the council to remember that only nine people have paid on the loans in fifteen years. There was one that was paying religiously on their loan and found out that others were not and would never pay on it and they stopped immediately.

 

 

 

The mayor said if we go back to what Decker suggested and forget the interest on the loans and ask for payment on just what the loan amount had been the recipients might feel a little better.

 

 

 

Decker said he would like to see the committee consider that and Davenport said it definitely would.

 

 Davenport said Hargis had said the ones he had talked to he had told them we would even accept $10. Davenport said there were two sets of books, the ones that were written off they still have where they can still pay. Davenport said we will make sure that gets reinstated at the next meeting that if they can pay anything but not the interest.

 

 

 

Gooch asked if the city still had the original paperwork, like a letter, on the loans to see what it says. Davenport said it was his understanding all of this had been studied by Riggs and the committee has spent numerous hours on it. Riggs added he had the original notes with the original signature and that was noted on the detailed report he had handed out to council. Davenport said down through the past 15 years if there hadn’t been any consistent bills or reminders and we pop up trying to collect, these people look at us like we are crazy. It’s just a bad situation and that’s why we decided to go ahead and write these we think we will never get completely off.

 

 

 

Decker noted these were not collateral loans; they were just a loan on your signature. Gooch asked what if someone came back and said the city was writing off some people and I want my money.

 

 

 

Riggs said we were talking about writing off loans where we are telling a mis-truth (if) we leave them on our books; our books are off. We are telling people that there is $80,000 worth of money to be collected and it is not collectible. Riggs said but the other $80,000 we will leave on there, there is a chance we might collect maybe $15,000 over the next 10 years. These are the ones we really want to try but the others are not around.

 

 

 

City Attorney Neil Kerr said there was also a time limitation on how long you can collect and some of these people are going to wait you out and if you haven’t filed a lawsuit and we run out of time we can’t sue them.

 

 

 

The mayor said he thinks what has been said was fine, but, if Davenport would go back to the next committee meeting and run it by about this other (loan amount).  He thinks that will be more than fair to the people who are going to pay off the loans.

 

 

 

The mayor asked for the roll call on Davenport’s motion to write off the deGraffenried bad loans. The motion passed unanimously.

 

 

 

Next on the agenda was a financial report on city accounts by Riggs.

 

 

 

The next item on the agenda was old business; the paving bid for East Second Street. The mayor said the bid was put in the newspaper and Scotty’s was the only one that submitted a bid. The project consists of East Second St, from Caldwell to the North Main St area. The bid was in the amount of $52,727.00. The mayor said the other part wasn’t included now because when the work begins on the bank (Bethel) that portion will be the “road” they use to get around.

 

 

 

The mayor asked for a motion to approve the bid on the East Second Street paving.

 

 

 

Bell moved, seconded by Gooch, to approve Scotty’s bid of $52,727.00 on the project.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

The mayor noted they would probably be doing the work next week which means they will fire the Russellville plant back up and we can get on the list and try and get the road cuts and potholes situated.

 

 

 

The next item under old business was council’s approval of a surplus list of items, basically all vehicles and a couple of mowers and bush hogs.  If we get the list approved hopefully by the end of the month we can have an auction.

 

 

 

Kinser moved, seconded by Gooch, to approve the list of surplus items to be sold.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

The next item on the agenda was new business.

 

 

 

Mike McCormick with the Tree Board reported the board had unanimously approved removing a large maple tree down in Carrico Square by the confederate monument in the northwest corner. A limb from the tree fell during a recent storm damaging the eagle on top of the monument. The board further recommends when this tree is removed that it is replaced by the planting of two trees on the northern portion of the square. He added he wasn’t sure two trees would go in there however we did need to replace the tree. McCormick said the reason the request was coming before the council formally was because according to the ordinance on something like this it could be controversial and we need to give people at least 30 days to respond or object.  He doesn’t think anyone would object once they know it is a potential hazard.

 

 

 

Decker asked McCormick if he needed a motion on this and McCormick said no it was a recommendation by the board but council could if it wished. He didn’t think anyone would object to this because they have agreed to replant.

 

 

 

Decker moved to agree to the Tree Board taking down the maple tree in Carrico Square to include the 30 days (waiting period) to give citizens a chance to respond or object.

 

 

 

Upon a question from the mayor McCormick said the 30-day waiting period was by ordinance but it could be overruled by council. The mayor said the city was waiting on taking the tree down to re-sod that side of the park.

 

 

 

 Decker asked if the stump would also be removed and the mayor said the bid included taking the tree down and removing the stump.

 

 

 

Kerr asked if there was an exception in the ordinance for safety and McCormick said yes. The reason for this was because of a situation that happened some years ago with trees. McCormick suggested council give it two weeks.

 

 

 

The mayor said his plans were to have the tree removed this Saturday and the sod work starting a week from today and McCormick said again the council could make an exception.

 

 

 

Decker said he could make a motion that in light of the fact the tree has already fallen once it could be a hazard and the fact we are in the process of laying sod that something needed to be done sooner than the 30 days and include in the motion that in light of that we should do something on the mayor’s schedule that he has planned. McCormick said he would not object to that but also knew that anytime we do something like this there is a potential for controversy.

 

 

 

The mayor said in any other situation we would wait the 30 days but since it was rotten we shouldn’t wait.

 

 

 

Decker said his motion was on the table.

 

 

 

Bell seconded Decker’s motion to approve taking the maple tree in Carrico Square down.

 

 

 

The mayor asked Riggs if he wanted Decker to repeat his motion or did he get it. Riggs said Decker’s motion was to accept the recommendation of the Tree Board to cut damaged tree in square as soon as possible for safety reasons.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Next on the agenda was Resolution 2011-11, Barren River Regional Hazard Mitigation Plan update.  Kerr read the document in its entirety.

 

 

 

The mayor asked for a motion to approve Resolution 2011-11.

 

 

 

Gooch moved, seconded by Decker, to approve Resolution 2011-11.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

Next on the agenda was Resolution 2011-12, acquiring 0.292 miles of state highway-South Main Street. Kerr read this resolution in its entirety. The resolution was the approval by council to accept the roadway sections and the adjacent right-of-ways of Ky. 3519 from the junction with US 68, the courthouse square (Carrico Square) with Ky. 3240, a distance of about 0.292 miles. Kerr said he would only change the resolution at the second “whereas” where it says upon completion of the aforementioned actions by KYTC the Russellville City Council accepts ownership….I would just say the Russellville City Council on behalf of the city of Russellville accepts ownership.

 

 

 

The mayor explained for those present this meant from Ninth Street down to about the middle of the doors of the old Southern Deposit Bank, (corner of S Main and 4th St) the state will turn that over to the city. This does two things: let’s us address the bump-out issue because now it is ours and the other thing it does is we now can stop tractor trailer traffic (from coming around the square). As soon as they make the turn (9th Street), they are ours and we can stop that. The mayor said in order to redo the bump-outs, because that was federal and state money and it just wasn’t going to happen, we did this. The state said the only way to do that was to take possession of it. We have looked the road over (possible repairs needed) and it looks good except where we have our road cut when we redid that water line. It will probably be in the spring before we can get that resurfaced. We can never do anything (about) truck traffic on east or west streets that is federal and all the way around the square is federal. He said down the road another option was from Riley White (corner) down to the 2nd Street light. If we want to stop truck traffic there to we can take possession of that too. The mayor said if the trucks have downtown deliveries that would be different.

 

 

 

Davenport asked how often the city checked to see if vendors have a business license and the mayor said he wasn’t sure. Riggs said if an employee sees a business vehicle they think might not have a license it is checked and if they don’t we will pursue that. Davenport said he thought a law had been passed a few years ago; maybe it was a city ordinance. The mayor said most of the ones he sees are going to Logan Aluminum. The mayor said it would be looked into.

 

 

 

The mayor asked for a motion to approve Resolution 2011-12.

 

 

 

Bell moved, seconded by Decker, to approve Resolution 2011-12.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

The next item on the agenda was the approval to pay the bills in the bill payment folder.

 

 

 

Decker moved, seconded by Bell, to approve the bills in the folder.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

The mayor asked if the council had any other business or if anyone from the audience had anything.

 

 

 

Eleanor McCormick asked the mayor to consider putting the chairs back at an angle so the audience can see anyone who speaks.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

The mayor asked for a motion to adjourn the meeting.

 

 

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

ATTEST:

 

 

 

 

 

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