City Treasurer Erin Embry advised the council that accounting work is back logged due to outdated 10-year-old book keeping software that she says does not analyze data nor is it searchable. Embry said the city’s financial data is not timely or efficient and she said they are trying to move from book keeping into true accounting. Embry said she has researched new software for the city and has found Microsoft Dynamics GP. The software would be implemented and maintained by Harris Company, which is the same company the city works with at the present time. Embry said the drawback is the hefty price tag of $99,000. She said 1/3 of the cost is the software and the remaining 2/3 of the expense will cover training and the implementation of the program. She said the cost is actually a discounted price since the software is a new program the Harris Company is offering and the city would be the “guinea pig.” She said the company is willing to knock off around $31,000 in cost. She said there was also the possibility of the city saving a few extra dollars by combining their training with the Hardin County Water District who is also looking at the software.
Councilman Steven Elder asked if the software would replace any staff and Embry said it would not. Council Billy Dallas inquired if the software would relieve any work hours that are paid now to employees and Embry said it would not relieve any hours but it would increase in the expedience of the financial work that is being produced daily. She said it would also allow other city departments to access reports via the internet. The cost would be split 50/50 with the Leitchfield Utilities Department. Embry said “Hopefully our health insurance has saved us enough money but if not it would have to be a capital investment and come out of surplus,” when asked by Councilman Jerry Schlosser if the city had budgeted for new accounting software. The council tabled the issue.
After the tragic death of retired Kentucky State Trooper Leo Mudd earlier this month, Mudd’s son Kevin attended the city council meeting to continue a conversation he had earlier with Mayor William Thomason about finding a memorial to his father. Councilman Steven Elder said he had spoken with Patty Dunaway, Chief Engineer for Kentucky Transportation Department. Dunaway informed Elder there were several ways to accomplish the memorial. The council tossed around the idea of renaming School House Road in Leitchfield after Leo Mudd, but Mayor Thomason said his idea was to dedicate Mill Street/Hwy 62 to Mudd. Mayor said this would not interfere with any citizen’s address, which was a concern for the Mudd family, and it extended through Leitchfield and Clarkson, two cities where Mudd’s work and presence was prominent. The council decided to send a letter of support to Kentucky State Senator Carroll Gibson, Kentucky State Representative C.B. Embry, Jr., Kentucky Department of Trasportation and the City of Clarkson.
A key to the City of Leitchfield was presented to a foreigh exchange student Monday evening by Mayor Thomason. The student, Katie McFadyen, is visiting the United States as part of the Lion’s Club International Exchange Program. McFadyen said she had spent the first two weeks in Kansas and would spend the next two weeks with Mayor Thomason and his wife Carolyn.
There will be a public hearing on January 4, 2010 at 5:30pm to discuss the possible closing of the railroad track portion of Old Brandenburg Road. There were a couple of people in attendance Monday evening to speak against the closure but there were asked to come back to the next meeting. The new entrance to Old Brandenburg Road has had the council stumped for several weeks as to what to name to very small street. After weeks of deliberation the issue was tabled again after Public Works Director Darrell Harrell said he didn’t think the street needed a name and was an extension of Old Brandenburg Road. He said the property along the sides of the street would not ever host a building and therefore eliminates the possibility of the street ever hosting an address. The council decided to seek the advice of Patty Dunaway with the Kentucky Transportation Department.
The Leitchfield Public Square has received $20,000 of grant money through the Renaissance on Main Grant Program. City Treasurer Erin Embry said only three owners showed interest in the grant money, which is a matching grant. Dwight Embry, Jason Pharis and Joe Brad Hudson will split the money and use to rehabilitate their property around the square. Hudson owns Discount Interiors; Pharis owns the portion that housed Edward Jones and Embry owns the building that is rented by the News Gazette.
The council decided to apply for a grant sponsored by University Kentucky on behalf of Bel Cheese. The local company is working with Dudley Cooper, Leitchfield/Grayson County Industrial Recruiter, who is working with UK on a Green Incentive Grant. The grant is $125,000 and the county also applied on behalf of Bel Cheese for an additional $125,000. Bel Cheese is working on a $3 million project that will help with their sewage discharge. The company will install an anaerobic digester. The company is looking for alternate uses and disposal of the whey protein waste their company produces daily. The City of Leitchfield accepted the whey product for a short time earlier this year but the foul smell caused uproar with local citizens. The company is presently paying a company to haul the waste at this time.
In other city business:
The city heard the first reading of the re-zoning of 1018 Brandenburg Road. The area is being rezoned from R-1 residential to C-1 Commercial.
The city also decided to use their $903.45 of area development funds to purchase a new computer for the transfer station.