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Columbia City Council Report, Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2008

In last night's action
  • History made as first session televised for Cable Channel 2 at 5pm tonight, tomorrow
  • Dana Walker gets approval to hold Chamber Trick or Night on Square with limited access, closing of Greensburg Street
  • Mayor wants new bypass to be called something else. Asks for name suggestions
  • City hears request from Well Walk property owners to fix sidewalk, improve stairs
  • Ordinances relating to annexation of Grider property on Campbellsville Road and Wilson land on Murray Lane passed
  • City votes to front $40,000 to back Renaissance Columbia concert. Money will be paid back from proceeds, Councillor Dean says, unless proceeds aren't enough, in which case the shortfall would be investment in tourism.
  • Mayor Bell makes request for $81,000 on sewer project; it's approved
  • City votes to add street lights on Travis Street, Miller Avenue.

By Ed Waggener

The September 3, 2008, meeting of the Columbia City Council goes down in the history books as the first ever videotaped for television.

Ramie Hutchison and Eric West of Duo County Telecom recorded the session for airing on Duo County's Channel 2 at 5:00pm this evening and again on September 4, 2008.

Far from being intimidated by the cameras, officials of the body may have actually extended the meeting playing for camera time.

Mayor Pat Bell introduced members of the Council, Charles Grimsley, Craig Dean, Linda Waggener, Edwin Taylor, Joe Moore and June Parson, and, in an extraordinary show of city hall officials, had on hand Events Planner Rhonda Loy, Gas Supervisor Joe Hare, Water Supervisor Dana Rogers, and Chief of Police Mark D. Harris. He also recognized, as introduction, Citizen Roy Rademacher, the Council's most faithful member of the audience. Also in the audience was Anthony "Tony" Grider, who along with Cynthia Rowe and all the members of the present city council, are candidates for the six council slots on November 4, 2008.

Council approves Halloween night activities on the Square

Dana Walker appeared before the Council to request the use of the Square for a Chamber of Commerce sponsored Trick or Treat Night on Friday, October 31, 2008. In response to Ms. Walker's request to shut down or limit access to the Square, the Council voted, 6-0 to do "all we can to help" with the project. Chief Mark Harris will make the final decision as to whether all incoming streets will be shut down or, as more likely the case, Greensburg Street only would be closed, with traffic on the Square limited.

Chief Harris noted that the Columbia Western Bypass will be open by that time, and it could be a good time to test closing all incoming traffic to the Square. The event would take place from 6:00pm to 8:00pm. Booths will be set up on a first come, first serve basis, Ms. Walker said. And, she added that the Chamber's insurance would cover the event.

Mayor wants name, other than "Bypass"

Mayor Bell told the Council that he has gotten approval from the Kentucky Highway Department for the City to name what is now called the "Columbia Western Bypass," something else.

He asked the council and the community to come up with a better name.

Mr. Rademacher commends city for events, chides police on parking

Roy Rademacher spoke in the Citizen's Comment segment, and commended the City for the turnout for the Buy, Sell, Swap, and Trade Day, the Duck Race, the Old Car Show, and the Concert, but told the Council he thought the Code Enforcement/downtown parking policemen was slacking off. "I used to see the parking fines published," he said. "Now I don't."

Chief Harris replied that he had not heard any complaints. "He's (Officer Bill Bailey) is doing a real good job," he said.

Businesswomen ask City to take action on Well Walk off Square

Sue Rowe noted that her property extends under the city sidewalk, and that leaks are occurring and that the concrete is deterioratining dangerously. "The odor from the leaks in my building is so bad I can't rent the ground floor," she said. She said that mildew is also a problem.

The city is proposing to rebuild the sidewalk with steel rebar reinforcing the structure. Ms. Rowe thinks that will be inadequate, that the area under the sidewalk should be filled in and concreted.

Sharon Burton asked that, in the process of rebuilding, the city rework the steps at the end of the walk. "Tear out the narrow stairs," she said. "Make it welcoming and wider and safer."

Councillor June Parson asked if the city would be making the stairs as wide as the walk. Mayor Bell said that is not in the plans at present.

The Mayor said that Danny Pyles and Richard Mallory are to rework the sidewalk as soon as they can get to it.

Several ordinances read, ok'ed

Several ordinances received first and second readings and were passed unanimously:
  • An ordinance amending the zoning maps to include property at 100 Murray Lane, owned by Patrick and Lyda Wilson to be annexed as R1-A single family residential, was given second reading and approved 6-0 on a motion by Edwin Taylor, seconded by Joe Moore.

  • An ordinance amending th Columbia Zoning Regulations and Zoning Districts Map to include property owned by Grider Commercial Properties at 1764 Campbellsville Road as C-2 Highway Commercial was given a second reading and approved 6-0 on a motion by Charles Grimsley, seconded by Craig Dean.

  • First readings were given to ordinances annexing the Wilson and Grider properties. No votes were taken.
The council also heard the first reading of the tax rate for 2008, which calls for maximum increase of 4% in total property tax revenues. Because of changes in the assessments, the actual tax rate will decrease.

The council also heard a first reading of a change in the city's adoption of Kentucky Building Codes, employment of an inspector, and the schedule of fees. This was introduced at the meeting and was not part of the city's previously released agenda.

City agrees to back concert, front $40,000 to get name band

On the recommendation of Councillor Craig Dean, the Council voted to front $40,000 to Renaissance Columbia to get a name band to appear at the Adair County Fairgrounds for the second week in October during Downtown Days.

The vote was 5-1. The votes came on a motion to waive the rules by Charles Grimsley, seconded by June Parson. The motion to front the $40,000 came on a motion by Craig Dean, seconded by Charles Grimsley. Councillor Edwin Taylor voted no on both proposals.

Councillor Dean said that the money would be paid back from concert proceeds. If the proceeds are not great enough to refund the city, the city would need to consider the loss an investment in tourism, he said. If the concert should make money, the profits would go to Renaissance Columbia.

Renaissance Columbia has Diamond REO as its first choice for the concert appearance, Rhonda Loy, the City Events Planner said.

Mayor Bell asks for $81,000 for Parkview Dr. sewer project

Little was discussed about the City Utilities at the meeting, but Mayor Bell said that the city had $50,000 left over from the KY 61 project, leaving a shortfall of about $81,000. Though the need was not on the public agenda, the Mayor asked for authority to proceed. On a motion by June Parson, seconded by Linda Waggener, the Council okayed the request.

Mayor Bell said that the city needs to be concerned that the area at the "Old Interchange" not be neglected while the "New Interchange" at Holladay Place takes shape.

Mayor Bell said that the Green Hills/Parrott Avenue projects may be a little ahead of schedule.

Council votes to add street lights on Travis Street, Miller Avenue

On a motion by Joe Moore, seconded by Linda Waggener, the council voted 6-0 to add street lights on Travis Street and on Miller Avenue.

Joe Moore moves adjournment

After an hour and fifteen minutes, the Mayor turned to Councillor Joe Moore, who uttered these words, "I move we adjourn."
About Your Columbia City Council:
The Columbia City Council regular monthly meeting night is at 6:00pmCT each first Monday at City Hall, 116 Campbellsville ST., Columbia, KY in the City Council Meeting Room. Meetings are open to the public. There are six Councillors: Craig Dean, Charles Grimsley, Joe Moore, June Parson, Edwin Taylor, and Linda Waggener. Presiding: Mayor Pat Bell.

This story was posted on 2008-09-03 05:38:25
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Steps should be more welcoming, business women say

2008-09-04 - Well Walk Off the Square, Columbia, KY - Photo By Ed Waggener.
Sharon Burton owner of a Farmland Publications located on the Well Walk off the Square in Columbia, suggested that the narrow stairs leading up from Adams Alley be widened and made more welcoming when the stressed walkway is rebuilt by the City, but Mayor Pat Bell said the steps renovation is not planned at this time. The matter was brought up at the Tuesday, September 2, 2008 meeting of Columbia City Council. The stairway allows quick access from the Municipal Parking lot to business along the unique and historic walk and is a major shortcut to the Public Square.

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