In Aug. 20 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
The building of a new Russell Springs Municipal Building, which will house city hall, became a bit closer to reality at last Thursday's city council meeting when city leaders approved to advertise for bids on the new facility.
The building is slated to be built in a lot on the north end of Main Street, according to Mayor Hollis DeHart.
"The city will be serving as the general contractor," he said. "We'll be letting five to six package bids."
The mayor said advertisements for these bids will be published twice in this newspaper.
He said once the city receives the bids, the council will be called into special session to open the bids and decide which ones to accept.
The city is expected to hire local contractors for much of the project with the remaining work being completed by city employees, a move that would cut construction costs, according to the mayor.
"I'd like to keep our money as close to home as we can," DeHart said.
The mayor said it was his wish to see the new building under roof by this winter so that city workers could work throughout the cold-weather months on the interior of the building.
In other happenings at the meeting:
• The mayor spoke on the current situation at the Russell Springs City Cemetery. He said the cemetery had just over $300 in their coffers while the cemetery also has a $500 CD in a local bank.
"The rumor is the the graveyard has $4,000 or $5,000 and they won't spend it," DeHart said. "Well, there is no truth to that."
While the mayor maintains that city workers have mowed at the cemetery in the past, they are not permitted to do so.
"You cannot spend public funds on private property and the graveyard is private property as it stands right now," he said.
Jimmy Pyles, who spoke on behalf of the cemetery, said he had family buried there and would keep the cemetery mowed as long as he is "financially and physically able."
"We're hoping to be able to solve some of those problems (at the cemetery) on down the road," DeHart said.
• The council heard the first reading of two ordinances with the first being 2009-07, an ordinance that will set regulations for sexually oriented businesses.
"There are no businesses that I am aware of that's trying to locate here," DeHart said. "However, if that should happen and we do not have an ordinance in effect at the time, they can basically locate wherever they want to."
After the second reading of the ordinance, the city will be able to control where these businesses can locate within the city.
The second ordinance read was 2009-08, an annexation ordinance. The ordinance pertains to annexing property into the city limits from Campground Road to Old Dunnville Road, according to DeHart.
The mayor said he had received no calls with questions regarding the annexation process in that area.
• Myron Fisher, Kenny Keener and Kara Lane with Baldwin & Associates, the city's auditors, presented the council with the 2008-09 audit.
"I do commend you all," Fisher said. "You've got a good tone and that tends to trickle down through everything."
Fisher did not point out any areas of the audit where the city was lacking and told the city to keep up the good work throughout this fiscal year.
• DeHart announced that the city would close Main St. from Maple St. to the stoplight on the afternoon of October 29 and all day the 30th and 31st for the city's first-ever Octoberfest. More information on the festival is expected on the festival at a later date.