In Dec. 24 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
Facing questions from the public, the Jamestown City Council held the first reading of an ordinance that would set regulations, taxes, hours of operation and more on alcohol sales at restaurants at last week's regular monthly meeting.
Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates read a prepared statement regarding the recent limited alcohol sales election where he stated that neither he nor the city council had the authority to decide whether or not alcohol could be sold within the city's restaurants that meet pre-established criteria.
"I am instructing our city attorneys, Mr. Jeff Hoover and Mr. Kevin Shearer, to petition the Russell County Circuit Court for a declaratory action on this question," Bates said.
The mayor said a second reading of the ordinance would either come after a declaratory judgments from the courts or would not be necessary at all.
Several citizens against the limited sale of alcohol spoke up at the meeting, but Bates again reminded them the court rulings would set whether or not the city could issue licenses and collect revenues and nothing could be done until then.
At the meeting Councilwoman Marcelene Taylor said she was glad the city would not have a second reading until the declaratory judgment is handed down.
"I feel like that we're kind of pushing something that the people in the city voted against and I don't want to do anything that would hurt the voters or go against their wishes," she said.
Councilman Terry Robertson said he wanted the people of Jamestown to understand that the city council would not be choosing for the city to have limited alcohol sales or not, that it would come from a higher entity than them.
"I just want people to know that," he said.
In other happenings at the meeting:
• Police Chief Derek Polston gave the council some information he had gathered regarding quotes for new police cruisers that was discussed at last month's meeting.
Following Polston's presentation, Councilman Larry Joe Murray made a motion to purchase three new Chevrolet Impala police cruisers and one new Dodge Charger police cruiser. Councilman David Lawless seconded the motion and the council agreed to make the purchases.
Robertson then made a motion to amend the budget for the total cost of all the cars, approximately $88,000, with Councilman George Ralph Garr seconding the motion. All was in favor and the motion carried.
"I have a feeling in the next several years, the city of Jamestown will be taking a growth spurt and the police department needs to be able to step and be prepared for the future and meet the city's needs," Polston said.
• Bates announced that City Clerk and Treasurer Kim Weston would be retiring on December 31.
"She's certainly been a good left hand," Bates said.
Bates then gave the recommendation to the council that Tyler McGowan be the new city clerk and treasurer.
The council agreed with Bates recommendation and McGowan, a Morehead State University graduate, will take over his new position on January 1, 2010.
• Andy DeMoss with Ray, Foley, Hensley and Company presented the 2008-09 audit to the council. After explaining several different portions of the audit, DeMoss said it was a "good, clean audit."
• City Attorney Kevin Shearer gave an update on the Franklin property on Meadows Lane. Shearer said that he has tried to work with the lien holders, but to no avail. He advised the council the city would have to follow nuisance procedures to get it cleaned up.
Bates also said that a piece of property on Virginia Avenue, known as the Brown property, was also in a similar state. This property has a lien by the University of Kentucky Medical Center. Shearer said he would contact them to see if this property could also be cleaned up.
• Bates commended the Jamestown Lions Club for their successful "Santa on the Square" event last Friday evening.
The mayor thanked Dr. James Monin and the group for all their hard work on the event.