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Columbia City Council meeting 6 Apr 2015 - Report

In last night's regular meeting of City Council meeting
  • Council approves (sleeper?) Telephone and Communications Franchise ordinance with scant discussion of its purpose
  • Council hears first reading of ordinance defining abandoned urban property with higher - $1/$100 assessment for such property
  • Chris Oliver urges passage of a city ban on smoking in public places.
  • Mayor Hardwick's recommendation for air board approved
  • Mayor Hardwick requests, and gets approval to sign documents for sidewalk grant
  • Routine matters routinely approved

Click on headline for complete report with photo(s)

By Ed Waggener

The Columbia City Council, in a fast paced meeting, dealt with a variety of issues last night, Monday, April 6, 2013. The meeting was dominated by a presentation by City Fire Chief Mike Glasgow, who gave an impassioned plea for the city to restore an earlier negotiated $15,000 per year for space in the Adair County Fire Department building to house city owned trucks, including the $750,000 Ladder One, and other apparatus and gear.

Chief Glasgow said that nothing in his long career with the fire department had been as stressful as the days and nights since receiving a form letter in the mail announcing the unilateral termination of the agreement.

Rescinding the lease agreement was a decision of Mayor Curtis Hardwick. Mayor Hardwick apologized for the letter, but said he was only looking for ways to save money the city badly needed.

Chief Glasgow said that his department had stayed under budget except for one year, when costs for paying firemen for fire calls went $1,500 over budget. This is an item, Chief Glasgow said, over which he has no control

Chief Glasgow gave a capsule history of the departments, and outlined the advantages of having a unified city-county department, both for personnel and for sharing of equipment.

He said that should the present lease not be continued, as agreed, the city would have to find new quarters for its equipment on July 1, 2015.

No action was taken to restore the agreement last night. Mayor Hardwick did not elaborate on his plans for a separate Columbia Fire Department, or its benefits.

From comments by Councillors Linda Waggener, Charles Grimsley, and Mark Harris, it appeared they were sympathetic to Chief Glasgow's request. Councillor Craig Dean said, after the meeting, that he wanted to hear more details on Mayor Hardwick's proposal. If it involves big money, he said, he might want to consider the Mayor's proposal. Councillors Craig Lasley and Dr. Ron Rogers were not interviewed on the subject, and did not offer much indication in the public discussion as to their leanings on the issue.

Council approves 1st reading, abandoned urban property tax ordinance

The council heard a first reading of an abandoned urban property tax ordinance which sets a rate of $1/$100 assessment for property which meets certain criteria. No action was necessary on first reading.

Chris Oliver urges ordinance for smoke free public buildings

Chris Oliver spoke during the citizen's comment segment of the meeting to urge the implementation of a city-wide ordinance banning smoking in public places.

Oliver cited University College of Nursing lists of smoke free communities, which include neighboring Campbellsville, KY and the nearby cities of Bardstown, Bowling Green Danville, Elizabethtown, and Somerset, KY.

He noted that the Kentucky House of Representatives approved a statewide smoking ban, but that the Kentucky Senate did not. He said that his own prediction is that a state ban will become law in the very near future.

He left a copy of the ordinance passed by the City of Campbellsville, KY.

He said that he had talked with Senator Max Wise about the statewide ban, and that Senator Wise said the senate was not receptive to the idea, yet. (Q for Readers: How did Senator Wise, Rep. Carney, vote on the issue. - CM)

No immediate action was taken by the council on the issue.

Mayor Hardwick requests, and gets approval to sign documents for sidewalk grant

The council unanimously approved a request by Mayor Curtis Hardwick to authorize him to sign documents related to "Various Sidewalks and Crosswalks project funded by Federal-Aid Highway program," - Included in plans for use of that money are sidewalks from the campus to Lindsey Wilson Sports Park. Councillor Linda Waggener asked, during the discussion, if the money were for "Mary Ann Loy's proposal, a reasonable question since the media did not get an advance copy of the ordinance and the council package had no indication, either.

Council approves first reading of Telephone and Communications Franchise Ordinance

The council approved an ordinance for the sale of a telephone and communications franchise. The first reading was given without discussion, and briefly and was approved unanimously on a motion by Councillor Dr. Ron Rogers, seconded by Mark D. Harris. The ordinance calls for bid advertising. (This one caught me off guard; we don't know, from the reading, that the bill is a sleeper which may be pre-designed to bring a new company to Columbia or not. If it is, it deserves full public scrutiny. A second reading, should not, if this is the case, be made a special called meeting or before public hearings are conducted. - EW) Perry Parrish appointed to the Columbia/Adair County Airport Board
The council unanimously approved Mayor Hardwick's recommendation to name Perry Parrish to the Columbia/Adair County Airport Board. He will replace John Rarey, who chose not to accept a new appointment. Parrish's term will expire January, 2017.

Council announcements

Craig Dean did not make additional comments.
Linda Waggener. Said that she is excited about Mary Ann Loy's proposal for safer sidewalks and and streets. She asked if any of the proposals had been implemented, if any of the 'simply paint' proposals had been implemented. She was told that Selby Asphalt Maintenance would need to do the work, that the City Street Department only has spray cans of paint for striping. Councillor Waggener reiterated an earlier request for the council to be a committee as a whole and each take a sector of town to study and augment the list of problem areas Ms. Loy had submitted. She was told that each council person could just report problems as they see them.
Craig Lasley asked about the public nuisance law. He cited a house on Bomar Heights which burned over a year ago, located across the street from his own residence. He was told that the new special tax rate for abandoned urban property will help and that the city is beginning enforcement of its nuisance law.
Dr. Ron Rogers made no comments during this period, deferring, he said, to his colleague Charle Grimsley. Mr. Grimsley detailed problems at the City Park which needed attention in order for the city's insurance to remain in force at the best rate.

Mark D. Harris did not add further comment during this segment.

Routine matters

The Council voted unanimously, without discussion, to approve minutes of the March 2, 2015 regular meeting and of the March 9, 2015, special called meeting.

COLUMBlA CITY COUNCIL holds its regular monthly meeting each first Monday at 6pmCT in City Hall, 116 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY. The meetings are open to the public. Mayor Curtis Hardwick. Councillors Councillors Craig Dean, Linda Waggener, Dr. Ron Rogers, Charles Grimsley, Craig Lasley, and Mark Harris. City Clerk Rhonda Loy. City Attorney Marshall Loy. City Police Chief Jason Cross. City Gas Superintendent Ron Cook. City Sanitation Department Superintendent O'Shaughnesy Frazier. City Street Department Superintendent Donnie Rowe.

This story was posted on 2015-04-07 07:07:38
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Mayor Hardwick interview with Larry Smith

2015-04-07 - City Hall, 116 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener .
Larry Smith, right, interviewed Columbia Mayor Curtis Hardwick following the Mon 6 Apr 2015 regular meeting of the Columbia City Council. At the meeting, the council heard an impassioned presentation by Columbia Fire Chief Mike Glasgow related to city lease payments to house city fire apparatus, a suggestion for an ordinance to ban smoking in all public buildings, the first reading of an ordinance which would impose a $1/$100 property tax on certain abandoned property, and an insistent plea that Mary Ann Loy's plan for safer sidewalks and sane traffic control be implemented, in addition to other concerns in a fast paced 57 minute session.. The interview is scheduled to air at top of the hour news casts on the WAVE 92.7 FM and its sister station, the Big Dawg 99.9 today.

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Councillors listen to presentation

2015-04-07 - City Hall, 116 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener .
Councillor and Mayor Pro Tem Ron Rogers, Councillor Charles Grimsley, and Councillor Mark Harris listening to an impassioned presentation by City Fire Chief Mike Glasgow, related to Mayor Hardwick's executive decision to hold up lease payments for space to house city owned fire apparatus. The scene was at last night's regular meeting of the Columbia City Council, 6 Apr 2015.

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Chief Glasgow in interview after presenting case on radio

2015-04-08 - City Hall, 116 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY - Photo by Ed Waggener .
Columbia Fire Chief Mike Glasgow, in an Larry Smith, The Big Dawg 92.7 FM and The WAVE 99.9 FM, following City Council's regular 6 Apr 2015, meeting, presented his side of the controversy over the Mayor Curtis Hardwick's executive decision to rescind a lease payment agreement the Adair County Fire Department had with the City. Clicking Read More accesses Columbia City Council Mon 6 Apr 2015 report, posted Tuesday morning.

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