The City of Jenkins may be hosting two city festivals within a onemonth period if the Jenkins City Council is able to come to an agreement with the Jenkins Festival Committee Incorporated.
At its June meeting this week, the council heard the Jenkins Festival Committee’s request that it be allowed to rent the “mini-park” in Jenkins for a second city festival in September.
The first-ever Jenkins Heritage Days Festival is already scheduled to take place in the park during the last weekend of August and will feature The Drifters as its main entertainment act, said council member Chuck Anderson, who is a member of the Heritage Days committee.
The possibility of a second festival came to light Monday night when City Clerk Sherry Puckett read a list of several requests to use public property within the Jenkins city limits. When the request from the Jenkins Festival Committee came up, Anderson requested that it be voted on separately from the other requests, which were mostly for birthdays and family reunions.
Anderson said he felt a second festival promoted by the Jenkins Festival Committee, which formerly operated the August festival, would compete directly with the one sponsored and paid for by the city. Mayor Charles Dixon told the council he is already on record as saying the city will only sponsor one festival.
Council member Linda Baldwin said if the other committee wishes to use the city park, it will have to pay a fee for use of the park as well as for the presence of the city police at the festival, garbage pick-up by city workers, water usage, and any other services which may be provided by the city.
“It would not be a small fee,” said provide their own insurance since the city is not a sponsoring party.”
Brenda Braddock, who represented the Jenkins Days Festival Inc. at the meeting, told the council she would like to schedule a meeting between the council and the committee to discuss use of the park and rental fees. Braddock said the past was not important and asked for a meeting of the minds.
Council member Baldwin said that in the past, there was little communication between the old Jenkins Days Festival Committee and the city council, and that the committee had held secret meetings to keep council members from attending. Baldwin also said the city does not want anything to conflict with the Jenkins Heritage Days Festival planned for the last weekend of August.
City Attorney Randall Tackett asked Braddock what charities the committee (as a non-profit organization) supports. Braddock replied that Jenkins Days Festival Inc. had just been incorporated and that she could not supply that information. Council Member Carol Anne Litts, who is a member of the Mountain Heritage Festival Committee, said the city would have to know what to expect if they allowed the park to be used for a second festival.
“No surprises,” said Litts.
Council member Rebecca Terrill Elswick moved that the city hold the requested dates in September open, subject to whatever reasonable controls and rules the city may pass. The rules and controls will be drawn up by the council and discussed with the Jenkins Days Festival Committee to determine if an accommodation can be reached. The council voted four to zero to pass Elswick’s motion. Anderson abstained.
In other business, the council voted to accept the second reading of the city’s budget for Fiscal Year 2007- 2008. Mayor Dixon told the council he and City Finance Officer Robin Kincer had worked long hours to balance the budget and finally reached the conclusion that reduced landfill fees achieved through recycling would be the key to making the budget work.
Dixon cautioned Jenkins residents that they will need to make every effort to use recycling to reduce landfill fees or the council will have no choice but to raise garbage fees later in the year. The budget calls for expenses of $2,619,821 against income for expenses of $2,622,721.
The council also voted to continue the current city employee’s health insurance plan and to hold a public meeting thirty minutes before the July 2 meeting to allow for public discussion of a rate hike request from Inter Mountain Television, the city’s cable television provider.
Mayor Dixon told the council he had several recommendations from the Kentucky League of Cities for insurance but that the current plan had only gone up 2.77 percent. Council member Litts moved that the city keep the current insurance plan and continue to pay for employees insurance. Anderson seconded the motion, which passed unanimously.
Mayor Dixon told the council that Inter Mountain Cable had notified the city of an impending hike on cable fees. The company said the public would be notified in the July billing cycle, Dixon said.
Dixon said that according to the city’s cable franchise agreement, the city can control the fee for basic cable but has no say in extended services.
Council member Baldwin said she has not had a decent picture since Inter Mountain took over. Anderson said that because of billing errors from past providers, some residents are getting extended basic service but are paying only for basic. Anderson said he has been told the cable company will take steps to remedy that situation.
City Attorney Tackett told the council it is within the city’s rights to hold a public hearing and ask the cable company to justify their request to increase cable rates.
Sgt. Jim Stephens reported to the council that the Jenkins Police Department answered 97 complaints in May, which he said is a reduction from previous months. Jenkins Police made 30 arrests including four for Driving Under the Influence of Alcohol or Drugs and five drug related arrests. Stephens singled out Officers Adam Swindall and Brian Damron as doing particularly good work. He said Damron has done a good job in making drug arrests and complimented Swindall for solving break-ins at Jenkins High School and Burdine Elementary.
Council member Litts told Stephens that she has received several complaints from Burdine residents about a vacant house on Number One Hill behind the Burdine Post Office. Litts said several people have told her the house is often broken into at night and has been stripped of appliances, air-conditioning units and paneling. Stephens said he will tell the night shift to make sure to patrol that neighborhood several times each night.
The council also:
+ Heard from Justin Branham of the City Utilities Committee that removing lily pads from Jenkins Lake was a full time job and could not be left to weekend warriors. Branham, an environmental biologist who works for Summit Engineering of Pikeville, and Robert Narramore have been working to remove the pads. Branham suggested using a chemical which will destroy the lily pads but has no negative impact on the water supply.
+ Heard a report from city foreman Shade Baldwin that city workers repaired 16 water leaks since the city-wide clean-up was completed in April, for a total of 82 since January 1. Baldwin also said the number of citizens using blue bag recycling is up slightly from the previous month.
+ Learned that the Jenkins Volunteer Fire Department had a busy May and has answered 90 to 100 alarms for the year. Fire Chief Rick Corbett reported the fire department is waiting on a letter from Frankfort before beginning an EMT training program.
+ Agreed to move a metal bench and garbage receptacle from the entrance to the Emmanuel Baptist Church at the church’s request.
+ Voted to allow Mayor Dixon to advertise for bids for asphalt for city street work.
+ Voted to allow the city to borrow $42,500 to make up for a shortfall in for water and sewer liability insurance.
+ Voted to allow Mayor Dixon to advertise for bids to complete the Joe’s Branch Water Project and to open bids on June 19. City Engineer Paul Nesbitt of Nesbitt Engineering told the council his company will check the qualifications and references of each bidder and make a recommendation. Nesbitt reminded the council that time is of the essence since funds must be spent by September 1.
+ Voted to declare a 1998 Dodge Durango surplus property and to advertise it for sale to the highest bidder.
+ Voted to have City Attorney Tackett draft an ordinance
forbidding the use of city property for parking cars with “For Sale” signs on