Whitesburg KY

Jenkins council OK’s laws, welcomes newest member

The Jenkins City Council approved several ordinances and welcomed one new councilman at its January meeting. Kyle Walker of Dunham attended his first meeting as a council member since being sworn in. Walker has served on the Jenkins Planning Committee and has been active in other civic projects as well.

The council heard the first reading of an agreement that will allow the city to borrow $175,000 from the Kentucky League of Cities (KLC) for the completion of the Jenkins Civic Center. The center will be on the site of the new Jenkins swimming pool complex and will be part of renovations made to the home that belonged to the Bert Fields family, where the pool will be located.

Jenkins Mayor G.C. Kincer told the council the city needs the extra funds in order to have a civic center the city will be able to use for parties, proms, and other functions and added that funds from a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant that will finance the building of the pool and water park are not eligible for use in developing the center. He said the city had been carefully vetted by KLC in order to determine if it would be able to service the debt and that the loan was approved because the city will have the necessary income from the payroll tax that was passed last year.

City Attorney Randall Tackett read the ordinance and told the council the loan is considered a lease because KLC will hold the title for the property until the loan is repaid, but it will be treated as a lease. The property will revert to the city when the terms of the agreement are fulfilled. Tackett said the city has used this method a number of times during his tenure as City Attorney in loan agreements.

The ordinance contains language to the effect that the city must establish a “sinking fund” to service the loan and that the money that goes into the fund will be used to service the lease agreement. If the city is unable to meet the payments for the lease from existing tax receipts, then a special tax will be levied specifi- cally to pay the lease and will “be placed before and in preference to all other items.” This is also a general provision of standard lease/loan agreements and the same language exists in the lease ordinance for the Letcher County Recreation Center and the Letcher County Courthouse .

The council also passed the second reading of an ordinance to allow it to advertise for the sale of a franchise agreement “authorizing the owner thereof to own, maintain, construct, and operate electric power transmission and distribution lines upon, along, over, and under the streets, thoroughfares, alleys, sidewalks, bridges, public ways, and other places in the city.”

Tackett also conducted the second reading of Ordinance 234, that provides for rules of conduct at city council meetings. Under the terms of the ordinance, all citizens may participate in the public process. However, they will be required to sign up prior to the beginning of meetings in order to address the council and may only speak on the matters for which they sign up. The speakers will have a specific amount of time to speak and will be required to conduct themselves in a civil and respectful manner. Speakers will address the mayor and will refrain from using the names of staff members, using “fighting words and obscene language, name calling, yelling, cursing, or screaming.” The audience will also refrain from clapping, booing, or other disruptive behavior while someone is speaking. Brief applause is acceptable at the end of a speaker’s comments. The council passed Ordinance 234 unanimously.

In other business, the council voted to table bids on the renovations to the roof of the city-owned building housing Giovanni’s Pizza in Jenkins until the bid language could be clarified. Blair Construction and Greg Hale LLC both submitted bids, but the bids had several different aspects and varied widely in the amounts. City Attorney Tackett asked if both bidders had bid all the plans from Richardson Architects and the council voted to table the matter until both bidders could meet with the architects and clarify the matter.

The council also voted on two bids for surplus property. David Clark, a local realtor, made the sole bid of $250 on property that formerly belonged to David and Leona Jones of Number Four Hill, but Tackett told the council the city spent $7,900 to demolish the structure and clean up the property. The council voted to reject the bid and to allow Mayor Kincer to negotiate a more favorable agreement.

The council voted to accept a bid of $2,555 from Jonathon Adam DePriest for property that formerly belonged to Joseph Lee Kelly in Rocky Hollow. Tackett reminded the council that the two properties were the first to be bid under the city’s Blighted and Deteriorated Property Ordinance and added that the city had learned a good deal concerning demolition and clean-up and had gotten quite a bit better at it. He said the actual cost of demolition is taken from a fund created by the late Dave Zegeer and is done at no cost to the city.

The council accepted a bid of $33,195 from G&G Communications to install a new communication system for the city, including police and fire vehicles. Mayor Kincer said the new system will be digital and will meet 2013requiements of the Federal Communications Commission.

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