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Columbia City Council, February 7, 2011 report

In the February 7, 2011, Columbia City Council Meeting
  • Hunter Hadley leads Pledge of Allegiance
  • New member of City-County Parks Board appointed
  • Council approves earnest money to hold Christian Life Center property
  • City approves joint City-County board for 911 operation
  • Police Department now in new addition; Mayor in new Suite; Council Room will be expanded. City Hall to get new paint
  • Mary Ann Loy appointed to Planning and Zoning Board
  • Burton Garbage gets surplus truck bid
  • Council tables compensation ordinance
  • Heskamp, Guthrie Streets to get new gas line
  • CIty will ask state about renaming part of Burkesville Street/Burkesville RD for Dr. Martin Luther King.
  • Barbara Armitage gets enthusiastic reception for GBBC
  • Council announcements
  • Councillor Robert Flowers continues tradition

Click on headline for full story, photo(s)

By Ed Waggener

The Columbia City Council made major decisions last night for joint City-County Parks, for joint City-County operation of the Adair County 911 center, and funded beginning negotiations to secure the Columbia Baptist Church's Christian Life Center for a new Senior Citizens Center, with Parks and Recreation use, as well.

Mayor Mark Harris made several appointments to complete the Columbia-Adair County Parks and Recreation Board with his first appointment, that of Charles Grimsley, who guided the creation of the parks board during his long tenure as City Councillor and has been the Chair of the Board, to a new, two-year term on the board.

Others appointed to the Parks and Recreation Board were Rebecca Schmidt, to a three-year board, Bruce White, to a four-year term, and Councillor Craig Dean to serve as the Council representative on the board. All were approved unanimously, with all Councillors, Craig Dean, Linda Waggener, Robert Flowers, Anthony Grider, Jim Hadley, and June Parson, present.

The Council also voted to fund $5,000 in earnest money to hold purchase rights to the Columbia Baptist Church's Christian Life Center, as the site for a new Senior Citizen's Center/Parks and Recreation facility. A total of $10,000 will be paid while negotiations are underway. Mayor Harris was not sure whether the $10,000 would be non-refundable or not. The facility is located at 901 Hudson ST, in Columbia.

Mayor Harris told the Council that County Judge Executive Ann Melton has secured a $160,000 grant toward the establishment of the Senior Citizens Center, and that Judy Keltner of the Lake Cumberland Area Development District had indicated that more grants might be available.

Mayor Harris did not indicate a price for the Christian Life Center, but word on the street is that it is in the $400-$450,000 range.

The Council heard a first reading on Interactive Agreement, 911 Center

The Council heard the first reading on Ordinance No. 320.5, an ordinance defining an Interlocal Cooperative Agreement between the City of Columbia and Adair Fiscal Court for the operation of the Adair 911 Center.

The ordinance establishes a board made up of the Chief of Police of Columbia, KY, the Adair County Sheriff, and the Director of the Emergency Medical Services to oversee operations and oversee personnel at the center.

A similar ordinance would be enacted by the Adair Fiscal Court for the Board to become a reality. A first reading at Fiscal Court is on the agenda for Tuesday, February 8, 2011.

City Hall update

Mayor Harris reported to the Council that the Police Department has completed its move to the new addition to City Hall, within the past month. The tiny office the Mayor formerly occupied is now vacant, since the Mayor moved his office to the the suite of rooms formerly occupied by the police. Mayor Harris proposed knocking out the wall between the Council Meeting Room and his former office to give more room for citizen attendance at the meetings, which often have standing room only accommodations. Frequently, some of the audience is required to stand in the hallway.

Mayor Harris said that the project, with new paint and new carpeting in the meeting room, is estimated to cost around $7,500. On a motion by Tony Grider, seconded by Craig Dean, the council voted unanimously to approve the work.

Mary Ann Loy is new Planning and Zoning member

The Mayor appointed Mary Ann Loy to replace Anissa Radford, on the Columbia Planning and Zoning Commission. Ms. Radford recently moved to Lexington KY, and had resigned the position. The Council unanimously approved the action.

Planning and Zoning recommendations approved for Lindsey Wilson

The board approved zone changes, as recommended by the Planning & Zoning Commission, for two properties owned by Lindsey Wilson College. Property at 100 Bryant ST and 112 Lindsey Wilson Street will be rezoned from residential to P-Public.

Burton Garbage wins bid for surplus truck

The Council opened two bids for a 1996 GMC garbage truck, and approved the high bidder, Burton Garbage, Billy Burton, owner. His bid of $6,900.00 topped the bid of Taylor Services, Chester Taylor, owner, who bid $6,567.73 for the truck. The unanimous approval of the bid came on a motion by Robert Flowers, seconded by June Parson.

Council gives Chief Jason Cross go ahead to apply for cruiser grant

The Council gave Columbia Chief of Police Jason Cross approval to proceed with a grant to secure three new police cruisers. The cruisers would replace 2006 models which are now needing more maintenance. The grant, if approved, would pay for two cruisers, with the City paying for a third one of equal value. Chief Cross said the cruisers, if purchased on a state negotiated contract, would cost $21-23,000 each, not counting bar lights, cages, striping, and other add-ons.

The proposal was approved unanimously.

Council tables Second Reading of Compensation update

The Council tabled a Second Reading of Ordinance 230.52, an ordinance updating the City's Compensation Plan. A number of changes to the ordinance are to be inserted and presented at the March 7, 2011 meeting.

City hears first reading of Policies and Procedures Update

City Attorney Marshall Loy gave the first reading of Ordinance No. 230.53, to update the Policies and Procedures manual. The major change will be to allow the Mayor to grant annual leave carryover on a case by case basis. Formerly, City employees were required to use accrued annual leave in the following year or forfeit unused days. The "use it or lose it" policy in some instances created unfair situations, Mayor Harris said, and the changes will address the shortcomings.

Board approves new gas line on Heskamp and Guthrie Streets

The Council approved a $15,000 expenditure to hire Walter Martin Excavating to install a new gas line from the intersection of Heskamp and Jamestown Streets to Guthrie Street to Guthrie and Jamestown ST, a distance of approximately 2,300 feet. Councillor Robert Flowers moved for the approval, with a second by Anthony Grider. Flowers said that public safety necessitated the move. City Gas Superintendent Ron Cook said that doing the work internally would have cost $13,500. However, that would not have included rental of equipment which the department does not have.

Time was a factor, too. Cook said a definite time table could not be forecast if the gas department were to reconstruct the line. He forecast a 3-4 week completion for the work done by the outside contractor.

Mayor Harris asked for more time for the orphaned department to work before selling it to the Columbia-Adair County Utilities District. The Council voted to approve his recommendation to appoint Councillors Robert Flowers and June Parson to study the operation of the Gas Department and report back to the Council. The recommendation was approved unanimously.

Proposal for a Martin Luther King Street, Boulevard

Ralph Willis, a member of Columbia's First Baptist Church, came before the Council to request the renaming of Burkesville ST from its intersection with Hudson Street south to the light at the Veterans Memorial Bypass, as Martin Luther King Street, and the stretch of KY 61 South of the Bypass to the Louie B. Nunn Parkway as Martin Luther King Boulevard.

No action was taken on the proposal, but Mayor Harris said that he will approach the Kentucky Department of Highways to see if approval can be obtained. While the roadways are within the limits of Columbia, they are State Maintained, and approval for the change would, the Mayor said, have to come from the State.

Willis said that most communities now have streets named for Dr. King, citing nearby Campbellsville as one example.

The Mayor, later in the meeting, reminded the Council of the Veterans' Breakfast he and CJE Ann Melton will host at the Adair Annex, on February 14, 2011, from 8am to 9:30pmCT, which precedes the unveiling of the Veterans Memorial Bypass signs at 10amCT.

Barbara Armitage gets warm reception for Great Backyard Bird Count participation

Barbara Armitage of the Adair County Garden Club made an appeal for broad participation in the Great Backyard Bird Count, February 18, 19, 20, and 21, and received an enthusiastic reception by the Mayor and Council.She noted that Mayor Harris and most of the Council have already agreed to be counters in the GBBC, the largest scientific undertaking on earth. She told the council that last year, Columbia, KY, was the number 2 city in North America in participation and that this year she hoped Adair County would be No. 1.

Ms. Armitage said that while the GBBC is primarily for scientific purposes, it does provide family fun, and has already proven to help economically. She cited the introduction of the popular Adair County Wild Bird Seed mix and the start up, cottage industry fabrication of bird feeders and boxes.

The project entails the outlay of very little money, she said. It captalizes on what is already here. "We can invite the world to come to Columbia to see what is already here." She said that she already knows of one family which will be coming to Columbia to participate in the project. In the future, she said, as Adair County's reputation as the Bird Watching Capital of Kentucky grows, more would make their way here to fill hotels, bed and breakfasts, restaurants and shops while taking part in the GBBC, and throughout the year.

Ms. Armitage reminded the Council of the last of three Birding 101 classes, at 6pmCT, Friday, February 12, 2011, at the Adair Extension Office, 409 Fairground ST, Columbia, KY.

Council Comments

Councillor Craig Dean requested street lights for Sunnyhill Drive, and thanked the Council for approving his appointment to the City-County Parks and Recreation Board.

Councillor Linda Waggener commended fellow Councillors and Mayor Harris for the appointment of Charles Grimsley to the Parks and Recreation Board.

Councillor Robert Flowers reminded the Council that Shelly Heavrin, Executive Director of the Trust for Life will be the guest speaker at the Chamber meeting on Tuesday, February 15, 2011, at 11:45amCT, at the Mulligan's at the Pines at Lindsey Wilson. (275 Country Club RD, Columbia, KY). Flowers said that Dr. Phil Aaron will also be present. Flowers told the Council that there are now one million Kentuckians who have registered as organ donors.

Councillor Tony Grider requested street lights for the entrance to the Search and Rescue Building street (Dusk Lane), saying that without them, "It's pretty deceiving to Campbellsville Road traffic that an intersection is there."

Councillor Jim Hadley who had earlier introduced his son to give the pledge of allegiance, made no comment beyond, "I'm good to go."

Councillor June Parson had no end of meeting comment

Councillor Robert Flowers, now establishing a new tradition, moved adjournment at 7:30pmCT. Mayor Harris wondered out loud, following the meeting if a new duration record had been set with the one hour, 30 minute session.

Meeting well attended

The meeting was well attended, with the Mayor and full City Council, City Clerk Sonya Roy, City Attorney Marshall Loy, Police Chief Jason Cross, Sanitation Department Director Kenneth Dulan, Gas Superintendent Ron and Mrs. Cook, Barbara Armitage, Chris Wilson, Charles Grimsley, and members of the media among those present.

End of report, City Council meeting, February 7, 2011

About your Columbia City Council

The Columbia City Council meets each first Monday in the Council Meeting Room, City Hall, 115 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY.The meetings are open to the public. Mayor Mark D. Harris. Councillors Craig Dean, June Parson, Linda Waggener, Robert Flowers, Jim Hadley, Tony Grider. City Clerk Sonya Roy. City Attorney Marshall Loy. Assistant City Clerk Sonya Roy. City Police Chief Jason Cross. City Gas Department Superintendent Ronald Cook. City Sanitation Department Superintendent Kenneth Dulin. City Street Department Superintendent Donnie Rowe. City Events Planner Rhonda Loy.

This story was posted on 2011-02-08 06:24:12
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Mayor Mark Harris presides at landmark council meeting

2011-02-08 - City Hall, 116 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Mayor Mark D. Harris presided over a landmark Columbia City Council meeting last night, Monday, February 7, 2011, which moved toward joint City-County oversight of the Adair County 911 operations, completed the appointment of board members of the merged City and County Parks and Recreation Board, and voted funds for earnest money to begin negotiations for a location for a City-County Senior Citizens Center/Parks location.

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Hunter Hadley leads Pledge of Allegiance

2011-02-08 - 116 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
A favorite rite introduced by Mayor Mark Harris is opening of each Council Meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance. The January meeting was led by the Mayor's daughter, Bailey Harris. Hunter Hadley, above left was in charge last night. Hunter is the son of Councillor Jim Hadley and Jan Hadley. Hunter has shown a great interest in government at an early age. At right, he's pictured at the reception following the Adair County Inauguration Day when his father was sworn in as a member of City Council. No one is yet picked to lead the Pledge at the March meeting, Mayor Harris said. And there are no age restrictions - anyone from two years to 112 is eligible. To apply, just go by City Hall and inquire, or call (270) 384-2501.

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Christian Life Center: Possible Senior Center

2011-02-08 - 901 Hudson ST, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
The Columbia City Council voted to post $5,000 in earnest money, provided a matching $5,000 is posted by the Adair County Fiscal Court, to enter into negotiations to purchase the Christian Life Center at 901 Hudson ST (MAP) with the site serving as a Senior Citizens Center and as part of the the Columbia-Adair County parks system. The action was taken at the recommendation of Mayor Mark Harris at the February 7, 2011 City Council meeting. Update February 8, 2011: Fiscal Court voted unanimously to authorize the posting of $5,000 earnest money to hold property and while negotiations, approval of funding agencies is secured.

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Ralph Willis, Councillor Dean discuss honor for Dr. King

2011-02-13 - City Hall, 116 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener.
Columbia citizen Ralph Willis with Senior Columbia City Councillor Craig Dean right: Ralph Willis and Councillor Dean had a followup talk after Willis stood before the Columbia City Council to ask that the name of Martin Luther King be honored with street name change. Willis is the son of Earl Willis, the leader of the Civil Rights movement in Adair County, the man who spearheaded the drive to make Adair County one of the first Kentucky Counties to comply with Brown v. Board of Education, the landmark May 17, 1954 Supreme Court Decision which ruled school segregation unconstitutional. The elder Willis was a truck driver for Skaggs Transfer at the time. He would be met on his return from trips to Louisville, KY, by other activists for guidance. Earl Willis' stubborn unyielding resolution led to a court victory and an early compliance with Federal law. Willis Street in Columbia is named for Earl Willis. At the Monday, February 7, 2011 City Council meeting, Mayor Mark D. Harris assured Mr. Willis that his request for a "Martin Luther King Street" designation for KY 61/Burkesville ST from Burkesville and Hudson to the light at Burkesville ST and the Columbia Bypass (Adair Veterans Memorial Bypass after February 14, 2011) and for KY 61 South to the Louie B. Nunn to be renamed "Martin Luther King Boulevard," would be considered, pending Kentucky Department of Highways consent. Clicking ReadMore accesses the full City Council Report for Monday, February 7, 2011

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