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Columbia City Council considers major plans 4 Jan 2016
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By Ed Waggener
The Columbia City Council met with the briefest of agendas, with the approval of the December 7, 2015 minutes to marquee entry, but before the evening was over, a new program enhancing lighting from Columbia to the LBN Parkway, to ultimately create a Great White Way; an announcement that negotiations to take over 911 or contribute to it was made, plans to revise and renew a tax abatement plan for new businesses was introduced, and a meeting of a committee including Mayor Curtis Hardwick and Council Members Craig Dean and Linda Waggener, to review a proposed Panhandling Ordinance, was set.
Mayor Hardwick acted as a facilitator, soliciting input and entertaining all ideas that came up in the meeting, and offering his assistance on them.
All council members, Craig Dean, Linda Waggener, Craig Lasley, Ron Rogers, Charles Grimsley, and Mark D. Harris were present in addition to Mayor Hardwick, as were City Attorney Marshall Loy, City Clerk Rhonda Loy, City Gas Supt. Ron Cook, and City Police Chief Jason Cross.
Vicky Pike presents need for additional lighting on Burkesville Road.
Miss Vicky Browning-Pike made a brief but comprehensive review of the lighting situation on Burkesville Road. She was accompanied by Cynthia Rowe, a city resident, and Kenneth Bennett, who lives on the county side in her neighborhood.
Lead supporters for further work in the area were Mayor Hardwick, Council Members Linda Waggener, and Charles Grimsley, who were quickly joined by the remaining Council, Craig Dean, Craig Lasley, Ron Rogers, and Mark Harris.
Browning-Pike proposed lights atop the four poles at the corners of the Edmonton Road & Burkesville Road intersection and for lighting at the "other" entrance to Holladay Place on Patricia Trail, at the Duo-County/Sleep Inn/Goodwill entrance.
As the segment of the meeting progressed and it received the blessings of all the council, Council Member Mark Harris said that he hopes one day lighting will be extended along Martin Luther King Boulevard to connect with City Street lighting in Town.
Possible problems to implementing the plan are 1) jurisdictional: The areas under discussion are in different jurisdictions and 2) Service areas.
Part is in the City and part in Adair County and part is the responsibility of the Commonwealth. Both Kentucky Utilities and Taylor County RECC provide power to the area and each has different rate structures for street lights.
Pike, who successfully advocated for interchange lighting at Exit 46 near Columbia Walmart, seemed well pleased with the cooperative approach to the getting the job done. Mayor Hardwick said he would immediately start researching how to get the proposal going.
Pike said she would be pleased with a step at a time, just so it is completed before it is forgotten.
Chief Cross releases 2015 activity report
Columbia Police Chief Jason D. Cross released the Columbia Police Department issues 2015 activity report, which included 8,330 calls for service, a figure cited by Councilman Craig Dean in the Council Comments and his acknowledgement of the pride the council takes in Columbia Law Enforcement, a comment immediately echoed by Linda Waggener and others.
Mayor Hardwick hints at new possibilities on 911.
Mayor Hardwick asked for the council's blessing, which appeared forthcoming, to begin talks with CJE Mike Stephens on 911. First, he said, there could be a review of of the city's contribution for 911 services, or, the City will investigate taking over management of 911.
Mayor Hardwick said the city is poised for progress in many areas. He cited the excellent educational opportunities, the Work Ready Community work, the city's enviable location and other attributes only Columbia and Adair County says.
Panhandling ordinance committee meeting will be Thursday
Mayor Hardwick announced later that the committee on issues, if any, related to a proposed "Panhandling Law," will meet at 10amCT, Thu 07 Jan, 2016, in City Hall, 116 Campbellsville Street, Columbia, KY. Also on the committee are Council Members Craig Dean and Linda Waggener. The ordinance is expected to get a first reading sometime after this review.
Craig Dean Had special thanks for Mike Newton and the Lindsey Plant Operations personnel who helped put up and take down, in a timely manner, the holiday decorations. He expressed optimism for progress in the New Year, and said that he thought City Council and all departments are on the right tracks. He singled out the Police Department for special praise, noting the 8,330 calls for assistance the department received in 2015.
Linda Waggener echoed Craig Dean's comments, and gave an update on the Parks & Recreation Department's plans to honor and memorialize the late Jim Blair at Jim Blair Park, saying the Parks & Rec board, of which she is a member, is starting with a wall hanging with a clear covering to prevent damage in the park's gymnasium with photos honoring Mr. Blair.
Craig Lasley took the time to wish everyone a Happy New Year.
Dr. Ron Rogers Echoed Mr. Dean's thanks to Lindsey Wilson's Mike Newton, commented on the Work Readiness of the community, and hoped all a happy and healthy New Year.
Charles Grimsley brought up renewing and defining tax abatement for new business. City Attorney Marshall Loy suggested that research be done on previous policies, which he thought were are at EDA.
Minutes passed routinely
The council unanimously approved the minutes for the December 7, 2016 meeting.
This story was posted on 2016-01-05 08:59:04
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