In Sept. 17 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
The ball is in Jamestown's court, so to speak, regarding future countywide Independence Day celebrations.
During this month's Russell Springs City Council meeting councilmen Eric Selby and Ricky Barnes proposed that the city of Russell Springs, along with the city of Jamestown and the Russell County Fiscal Court jointly host a celebration each year at Veterans Fairgrounds.
Selby said that after speaking to several members of the fiscal court they would be willing to partner in putting on a celebration.
"I would like to see both towns and the county work together and put on a large 4th of July celebration," Selby said.
Due to numerous factors, including logistics, the city of Jamestown canceled their longstanding Lakefest celebration this past July prompting the city of Russell Springs to sponsor a successful celebration at the fairgrounds.
Selby said he had also spoken to a Jamestown city council member and was told that this item would be placed on the agenda for discussion at their September 17 council meeting.
"I know in the past that Jamestown and Russell Springs have had some conflicts, that's a given," Selby said. "Hopefully we can get through it and if we can get through it for a 4th of July celebration surely we can get through it for anything."
Selby said the the proposal calls for a continuation of the celebration at the fairgrounds with each entity contributing the same amount of money and being responsible for placing two or three persons to be on a celebration committee with that committee taking care of all of the celebration's planning.
Russell Springs Mayor Hollis DeHart said a top-notch celebration would cost between $30,000 to $35,000.
"I would like to see us work together," the mayor said. "We don't need to be fighting each other over something that may have happened 75 years ago."
When asked by Councilman David Blakey what would happen if Jamestown, whose already had several Lakefest 2010 committee meetings, chose not be a part of a countywide celebration and if the Russell Springs would go forward with their own celebration next year, Selby said "time will tell."
In other happenings at the meeting:
• The council heard and passed the second reading of an ordinance establishing regulations for sexually oriented businesses within the city limits.
The city will now be able to control where these businesses can locate within the city if any chooses to ever do so.
The ordinance covers all adult book and video stores, adult cabarets, adult motion picture theaters, semi-nude modeling studios, sexual device shops or sexual encounter centers. These types of businesses must not be open from midnight until 6 a.m. under this ordinance.
• The second ordinance read and passed at the meeting was an annexation ordinance that pertains to annexing property into the city limits from Campground Road to Old Dunnville Road.
• The council heard the first reading of this year's property tax ordinance.
"Last year our tax rate was .174 and, according to the formula that the state requires, this coming year it will be .177 which is really infinitesimal," said DeHart. "You'll barely notice the difference."
• The city, through a resolution, took over ownership and maintenance responsibilities for the old portion of French Valley Rd., which the state abandoned when the new French Valley Rd. was built, and a short portion of Shawnee Drive.
The length of the old portion now owned by the city is about .3 of a mile, according to DeHart. "Right now the road is blacktopped and is in good condition."
• The council voted to sell four, and possibly five, vehicles at the Highway 80 Auto Auction in about a month under the recommendations of Councilmen Ray Barrett and Eric Selby. Fliers advertising the vehicles will be made up and passed around at the sale on auction nights until then.
• Councilman David Blakey brought to the council's attention that he believed some of the city's bills, in general, may be a bit excessive.
"Maybe if we could look at some of those and whittle them down a little bit would be good," he said. DeHart told Blakey to notify the city of which bills he deemed excessive and they would look into the matter further.
• The council entered executive session at 6:30 p.m. to discuss the possible sale of property and stayed for about 35 minutes. Upon returning to regular session it was announced that no action would be taken and the meeting ended.