In May 22-28 issue By Derek Aaron Times Journal Reporter
JAMESTOWN - During the City Council's May meeting, Mayor Brooks Bates gave his annual budget address to the council saying, "As everyone knows that runs a household, the basic expenses have gone through the roof."
The mayor then spoke of several projects the city will be undertaking in the coming fiscal year, including a $168,000 repair job on a water tank on Bernard Ridge, a 7.5 percent increase in the use of the sanitation landfill, renovations to the Monin Building for the future city hall, the relocation of the police department as well as other high cost items such as diesel fuel, which has risen 40 percent in the last nine months, and the price of regular gasoline nearing the $4 mark.
Despite all these things, the mayor said the previous fiscal year was a success.
Bates said the new businesses that have made Jamestown their home this past year have been great assets to the community. Some of these businesses include Wilson and Son's Hardware, Guthrie's Restaurant, Catfish Shack, Peggy's Books and Chapman's game room.
Mayor Bates also said the Jamestown City Park had seen great improvements.
"New lights have been installed and a complete makeover has been done to the general appearance of the park," he said. "I would like to applaud the park board for the diligence and dedication they've shown."
Bates also thanked State Rep. Jeff Hoover for spearheading the $100,000 project at the park and getting the grant monies that made the renovation possible.
The mayor also thanked the current council, Marcelene Taylor, David Lawless, Harold "Frog" Miller, Larry Joe Murray, Terry Robertson and George Ralph Garr, for their dedication to the city over the last year.
'We haven't always seen eye-to-eye, but that's what a representative form of government is supposed to do, agree to disagree," Bates said.
"In a respectful manner, we have arrived at conclusions for the questions at hand."
In other happenings at the meeting—
• The council finally came to a consensus by declining the county's request for the city to pay $500 a month to help pay the county dog warden's salary as well as upkeep on the Green River Animal Shelter in Columbia, where dogs and cats are taken when caught by the warden, saying the people of Jamestown already fund the dog warden with county tax money.
Council members Larry Joe Murray, Terry Robertson and David Lawless spoke against the monthly request for money, saying the citizens of Jamestown are already helping pay when they pay county taxes. Councilman Miller also said he had an experience with the dog warden where it took two days and four telephone calls before the warden came and took away a dog that had been on his property.
The Russell Springs City Commission also declined the county's request at their May meeting. At this time it is unclear if the dog warden will continue to pick up dogs and cats in either city.
• In a related issue, Police Chief Mike Keaton gave a report on the dog nuisance issue in the city. Keaton said the issue of dogs, both pets and strays, was a growing problem and that his department had received numerous complaints in recent months of dogs destroying property.
Keaton said he had reviewed the city ordinances on the issue and said that they would be enforced.
Keaton pointed out an ordinance passed in October 1988 that states, "It shall be unlawful for the owner or keeper of any dog, either licensed or unlicensed, regardless of the age of the dog, to allow the dog to be at large and unattended or to run in any street, park, lawn, garden, schoolyard, playground, or on any other public or private property."
He said that in the coming days, if anyone in his department sees an unrestrained dog with their owner, they will first be warned that the dog needs to be on a leash.
"If they do not abide by the warnings they will be cited and they will be given a court date and will appear in district court," he said.
• American Legion Commander Jeff Reeder gave the council an updated report on the current situation involving the "Doughboy," monument, which was damaged in February by an alleged drunk driver's truck. Reeder told the council that, Progressive, the driver's insurance company gave a final offer $25,000, which was the limit on the driver's insurance, to replace the statue and the damaged flag pole.
"We were kind of wishing for more than that but it looks like that's all we're going to be able to get," Reeder said.
He said the legion had reviewed plans by several companies to replace the statue or repair the damaged one and decided that the extra $800 it would cost to have a new bronze statue would be worth the expense. The damaged statue was hollow and was primarily zinc.
Reeder said the lowest bid for casting a new statue was from a Wisconsin company which already has a mold for the statue and would cast it for around $21,000. The company needs 12-15 weeks to cast the statue and didn't want to rush the project, Reeder said. More money will also be needed for the maintenance on the steps around the monument and a new flag pole.
Reeder said the American Legion is hoping for donations from people and businesses in the county to cover the approximately $10,000 in excess of that paid by the insurance company.
Some members of the council asked Reeder if suing the driver in hopes of obtaining additional money would be possible. Reeder said the driver's case is still pending in district court and that bringing suit against him could potentially happen.
• The council heard the first readings of ordinances 2008-04 relating to the imposition and administration of an occupational license tax, 2008-05 amending the street specifications for the city of Jamestown and 2008-06, the 2008-09 budget.
The council also passes a resolution adopting and approving the execution of a Municipal Aid Program contract. The council also heard the second reading of Ordinance 2008-03 which amended the 2007-2008 budget. This was done to coincide with the sale of the current city hall site to the county for the building of the new Judicial Center.
• Councilman Terry Robertson said a new sign touting Jamestown as the number one place to raise children in Kentucky will cost the city $425. The city agreed to buying the new vinyl sign.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
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