By Matt Lasley firstname.lastname@example.org
March 15, 2014
The Leitchfield City Council held its second New Cities Initiative work session on Tuesday, March 11 to hammer down what City projects require immediate attention.
The primary concern among Councilmembers proved to be the high number of dilapidated and unkempt properties in Leitchfield, especially in the downtown area.
Councilmember William Dallas said the primary issue in regards to the dilapidated Leitchfield properties is that the majority of them are privately owned.
Leitchfield Public Works Director Sheila Puckett said that without stricter zone code enforcement, the City’s options in that regard are limited.
Councilmember Harold Miller discussed possibly contacting property owners to inquire about their thoughts on beautifying local properties.
Councilmember Kelly Stevenson said he had also considered, if the City has the financing, establishing a scholarship program that would provide incentives for citizens to improve the appearance of their property, if they can’t afford to do so.
Stevenson said other cities have also offered to fund the cost of beautification tools, such as paint and paint brushes, if citizens would volunteer to participate in improving the appearance of properties within the city limits.
The Council took no official action in regards to City beautification but will look into further options regarding improving the appearance of the City in the future.
In other business:
*The Council discussed the need for improving cooperation between City and County governments.
Stevenson said it would be mutually beneficial if the members of the Leitchfield City Council were to meet with the Grayson County Fiscal Court.
Dallas said getting the two entities together in full would likely be an issue due to scheduling conflicts.
Stevenson suggested having just a few members of each government body meet at a time.
The Council agreed doing so would be a beneficial course of action.
*In regards to improving communication and transparency regarding City government activities, Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason said City Clerk Kim Sowders recently contacted a representative from Comcast to discuss broadcasting City Council meetings on local channel 2.
Thomason said the City is currently waiting on a price quote for this endeavour.
*The Council also discussed revoking the ban on riding bicycles at local park walking tracks, specifically the James D. Beville Park track.
Puckett said she felt the restriction should be taken off the parks to allow local children an additional outlet on which to play that would keep them off the streets.
The Council will explore this issue further in the future.
*Puckett said City Public Works and City Utilities have come to an agreement that if the Utilities will provide the resources to do so, Public Works will repair utility cuts on the City’s streets.
Puckett said several streets need to be re-paved, but first they must have potholes or utility cuts repaired. Public Works is currently compiling a list of streets in need of repair.
*The Council also discussed the City’s successes, including its welcoming environment for new industry and growing economy.
As an example, Stevenson discussed the tax abatement programs the City of Leitchfield has offered to a number of companies that have opened locally, including New York Blower, which received a $1,000 tax break per job for the first 100 jobs it filled.
*Thomason said nearly 200 local jobs were created during the recent winter quarter.
*Thomason said the City of Leitchfield is also looking to hire approximately 17 lifeguards, in addition to concessions workers, for Leitchfield Aquatic Center.
Lifeguard applicants are encouraged to apply online as soon as possible.
An information meeting for Leitchfield Aquatic Center lifeguards will be held Wednesday, March 19 at 3:30 p.m. at the Centre on Main, located at 425 South Main Street in Leitchfield.