In June 17 IssueBy Derek AaronTimes Journal Reporter
Mayor Hollis DeHart made his first appearance in two months at a Russell Springs City Council meeting last Thursday at city hall.
DeHart had been battling an illness that had kept him out of the public eye before making an appearance at the Russell Springs Spring Fest over the Memorial holiday weekend.
“I want to thank councilman (Ray) Barrett for his very able leadership while I was out,” DeHart said of the mayor pro-tem. “He did a great job and I appreciate it very much and I appreciate all of you putting up with my absence, of course it was an absence I couldn’t help but I’m back and feeling better every day.”
In other happenings at the meeting:
• DeHart told the council that the Kenvirons engineers are looking into whether or not water and sewer customers in Russell Springs will see a rise in rates similar to that in Jamestown because of the amount of the city's indebtedness.
Last month it was voted by the Jamestown City Council that customers in the city can expect an across-the-board 8.7 percent increase in water rates and a 42.5 percent increase in sewer rates.
Jamestown Mayor Brooks Bates said the increases had to be made to meet the city's obligatory bond debts after the recent expanding of both the water and sewer plants, which are located within the city.
DeHart said Public Works Director Terry Russell said he believes that the city can get by with somewhat less than Jamestown, specifically on sewer rates.
The mayor said he hoped to know more on the issue in the coming days.
• Councilman Ricky Barnes commented that the Spring Fest on Main St. was a big success. DeHart echoed those sentiments saying everyone he has spoken to enjoyed the event.
Councilman Eric Selby said he was impressed with the large number of volunteers who helped the Downtown Revitalization Committee put the event on.
“Right now we've got to start planning for the fall,” the mayor said of the upcoming Fall Fest.
• The city council heard the second reading of the annual budget ordinance for the upcoming fiscal year and then passed that budget, which begins July 1.
The city carried forward $600,000 in the general fund from last fiscal year, according to City Clerk Wendy Burton. The ordinance can be seen in full in this issue.
• City leaders also heard the first reading of the amended budget for the current fiscal year, which ends on June 30.