The groups’ attendance comes on the heels of a sign ordinance that was proposed by the Planning and Zoning Commission last month. Planning and Zoning Commissioner Steve Kinkade said they used a model ordinance from Bardstown, KY and said the 23 page ordinance was refused by the commission due to the tight restrictions. He said the goal of the sign ordinance was to help free Leitchfield of signage that was sporadically placed and gave the William Thomason Byway as an example of the commissions concern. Kinkade welcomed anyone with concerns to attend the Planning and Zoning meetings held each month. He also said the commission has no authority to pass ordnances; they only make recommendations to the city council, which ultimately make the final decisions.
The council agreed they would attend the planning and zoning meeting as visitors Monday night and discuss their options of easing some of the constraints. The council will not be able to take any action during this meeting.
Councilman Jerry Schlosser said he would like to see the city do three things that he feels would help alleviate some of the city’s spiraling revenue. (090406-JerrySchlosser-Rebates) Mayor Thomason said he would support the infrastructure payback that he feels was a successful practice in years past.
Councilman Steven Elder passed out an informational packet about distributions centers for retail stores. He said he feels this would be an advantageous avenue for the city to explore. The distribution centers look for centrally located cities that can access several of a particular retail store within a short distance. He said Leitchfield was centrally located in the United States and could easily be a distribution center for top retailers like Home Depot, Target, Wal-Mart and Sears. Elder said this could add hundreds of jobs to the city and the city has the buildings accommodate the idea. Elder said “We’re not chasing smoke stacks; we’re not chasing the auto industry.”
Tom and Kelly Hazelrigg asked the council when the city would do something about a burned down home on their street; Cave Mill Court. The Hazelrigg’s said it is an ugly site, draws mosquitoes when it rains and smells horrible. Mr. Hazelrigg said there are teenagers in the abandoned home late hours of the night and he fears someone will be hurt. The house burned down in July 2007 and the couple claimed they had sought the city’s help many times with no results. Public Works Director Darrell Harrell said the house sold on the courthouse square on March 24, 2009 and the mortgage company bought it back. He said now the city can pursue the mess to be cleaned up through the mortgage company. Harrell said the city would go ahead and cleanup the fallen limbs from the ice storm. Councilman Schlosser said “I find it ironic that we have planning and zoning to tell people how to do develop subdivisions and houses but we can’t even take care of a problem like this, that’s pathetic.” Mayor Thomason said the mortgage company would be given 30 days and if the ruins were not cleaned up then the city would take care of it and would bill the owners for the cleanup. The Hazelriggs also questioned a building that was burned approximately four years ago on US 62 that has still not been cleaned up. Mayor Thomason asked City Attorney Ken Smart to look into who owns the property in question at present time and to pursue having it cleaned up.
Leitchfield workers are still chipping away at the debris left behind from the ice storm. Harrell said the cleanup would probably continue through the summer months. He said the pretty weather over the weekend produced a lot of debris being left curb side. The city has applied for $480,000 of reimbursement from FEMA for their costs associated with the ice storm and its cleanup. City Clerk Erin Embry said that total does not reflect the money it will costs to chip the debris. Mayor said FEMA money will not be coming in until the next fiscal year and they are only reimbursing 75% and the state would reimburse 12%.
Visitor Theresa Armstrong asked the council to dedicate 50 acres of land off of Hwy 54 to be used in the future as a Baseball Complex. She said she had explored grant options and spoken with an engineering firm that is willing to help with the development of the ball fields. She said Grayson County Judge/Executive Gary Logsdon said he would commit the county for in-kind work in the form of dozer work, etc. She said the recreational park would help boost the economical development in Grayson County as well as giving the children of the county a nice place to play. She said the engineering firm willing to look at the land needs the city to commit the land first. She said she could not give the name at this time of where the money that will be available will come from, but she said the grant would be a 50/50 matching grant and the land would be counted towards the city’s portion of the 50% owed. She said she had spoken with Caneyville Mayor James Embry who said they would be willing to explore the option of consolidating Caneyville’s recreational activities with Leitchfield and Grayson County entities. She said she had not spoken to Clarkson Mayor Bonnie Henderson. Councilman Leon Shaw said he had spoke with Armstrong in great length about the idea and explained she is just asking for the city to commit land that could be developed as a ballpark in the future. Mayor Thomason asked Harrell to look at the land and find a 50 acre area so he could see a projection of where it could be located and the council will look at it in greater length at the next council meeting. Armstrong said she would like to have the ball field named after her son Deuce who died in a car accident a year ago. She said she has driven this idea by herself and would like to see the complex called “Deuces Fields.” Visitor Marty Higdon asked the council how much the city paid for the land and Councilman Schlosser said it was $8600 per acre. Higdon asked if the council thought it was “a little high dollar” to put a ballpark on. He asked if the city could find cheaper land to develop the ball field. Armstrong countered the commit with asking “Can you put a price tag on a place for our kids to play?” Councilman Billy Dallas said he had looked into the same idea and found that places like Bowling Green have a separate tax that funds their parks, which costs around $4 million each to develop. The council agreed to look into the idea and discuss at the next meeting.
The sewer extension project from the City of Leitchfield to the Grayson County High School is beginning to take shape. The city council approved a resolution for the $750,000 grant that will be available July 1, 2009. The grant is a 100% grant and Mayor Thomason said bids will be accepted as soon as all the legal paperwork for the project is complete.
In other city business:
Councilman Kelly Stevenson asked about the Babe Ruth park repairs that he turned in to be completed at the last meeting. Harrell said it was being worked on at the present time.
The summer employee drug testing program was proposed to be changed to a random test instead of a definite test each summer for each employee. The council decided to forfeit the proposal brought to them by Dwight Embry at their last meeting and keep the policy as stand.
The idea of naming the girls softball park the “Larry Allen Softball Complex” was a topic at the last council meeting. Mayor Thomason said during that meeting that he would like to look into everyone who was involved with the development of the park. During the Monday night meeting he said he and Councilman Schlosser had spent time with Jim Thomason, who was one of the men who help developed the park, and they compiled a list of people involved. Mayor Thomason appointed a committee consisting of Councilmen Billy Dallas, Kelly Stevenson and Jerry Schlosser to look over the information and bring back a recommendation to the council.