City Council meeting conducted virtually Monday evening
By Jeff Neagle
The city council addressed several issues at the Monday meeting.
While the debate regarding the Jim Blair Center took up a majority of the meeting, that issue can be found by clicking HERE.
The zoning change for the property on Gaston Avenue that was purchased by Cookout restaurant was given final approval with the second reading of the ordinance. The property is currently a home but was purchased by the restaurant chain to be used with the adjacent property as parking for the new restaurant. Mayor Pamela Hoots stated that she had just spoken to the team from Cookout and they stated they expect to begin construction within the next 30-60 days. Cookout also donated the tables that were in front of the old Dickie’s BBQ restaurant to city and they have been placed at the Little League Park.
The mayor was given approval to advertise for bids for the paving of city streets. The streets included for blacktopping at this time are: Reed Street behind City Hall; Miller Avenue to the curve; Guthrie Street from Montgomery to Elm; Harvey Street from Jamestown Street to Loy Drive; at the Little League Park – the first and second entrance, the exit of the lower parking lot, and the third parking lot; the parking lot at Minor Drive; Grady Loop from Bomar Heights to just below Brown Drive; Clinton Street from the corner of Garret to the new blacktop already in place; and repair work on Hill Street.
A request from Mike Glasgow that had been previously tabled was reintroduced at the meeting. Glasgow asked the city to deed a portion of High Street fronting Merchant Street to his ownership. At a previous meeting, the council had discussed the issue briefly and said they did not think they could do so without receiving some consideration for the property.
On Monday, compensation did not come up during the short conversation. June Parson stated, “I think this would be a very bad precedent for the city to set to deed city property to a private individual, so I move that we deny this request.”
The motion was seconded by council member Linda Waggener and carried by the full body.
The council then discussed the possibility of painting the water tank at Industrial Park South. Mayor Hoots stated that funding for the project was anticipated to be between five thousand to eight thousand dollars and suggested painting the town to say Columbia, KY on it.
Councilman Dr. Ronald Rogers asked if there were a grant for this or if the city would be having to pay for the project. Hoots stated the city would be paying.
Rogers then asked, “Are we running alright since people have been laid off for COVID-19 and possibly our payroll tax has been reduced considerably? Are our income numbers still pretty good?”
Parson replied, “I’m like you Butch [Dr. Rogers], I think we maybe need to hold off on this and look at this a little closer with our funding.”
Council member Sharon Payne agreed that painting the water tower may not be a necessity right now. The council agreed to delay the project.
Hoots also received approval to advertise for bids for repair of the wall along Reed Street across from Save-a-Lot. The wall has been slowly falling away from the road will likely require repair to keep the road intact.
Hoots also announced that Ty Cheatham, one of the summer interns working at City Hall, was conducting a survey of businesses in the community to find out their feelings concerning pros and cons of the community and things they would like to see changed. Cheatham will be delivering the results of the survey at a future meeting.
In the mayor’s report of activity in May, one item highlighted was the status of the planters around the square. They were adopted by local businesses and residents. The idea came from Barry Loy. Volunteers who adopted planters are: Riddle Landscaping; the Bennett Family; UCB Bank; Lena Miller with Lena’s Flowers; Sandy Conover from Nanwood; Kaitlyn Crawhorn in memory of her grandmother; the Myers family; Edward Jones Investment (Joe Willis); and Plant Cell. Additional planters are going to be placed soon and they already have volunteers for all the new planters.