Representatives from numerous local businesses attended the Monday night, Oct. 19 Leitchfield City Council meeting to address the issue of parking on Public Square.
Darren Fentress, of Twin Lakes Barber Shop, located at 24 Public Sq., said the current two-hour parking limit and its recent enforcement have caused frustration for business owners and operators on the square.
Increased restrictions, he said, will ultimately hurt businesses that wish to improve the square and bring life back to it.
“You’re eliminating any walking traffic,” Fentress said.
The City Council recently requested that the Leitchfield Police Department begin enforcing the two-hour parking limit in response to complaints received by owners and operators of businesses on the square that their customers have nowhere to park.
“We do not like writing tickets on that square,” said Leitchfield Chief of Police Kevin Henderson. “But it’s something we’ve just had to do because of the parking situation.”
Fentress suggested the creation of paid, annual parking passes for business owners and operators on the square to bypass the two-hour parking limit.
These, he said, could be a small source of revenue for the city.
City Councilmember William Dallas said the City of Leitchfield currently provides free, 12-hour municipal parking in a parking lot located behind the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office.
However, some representatives from businesses on the square expressed concern about the safety of walking through an alley at night, which some must do to go to the municipal parking lot.
John Allen—of T-Shirt Express, located just off the square on West Main Street—also addressed the City Council regarding the lack of parking on Public Square, which, he said, has been part of what has “killed our part of town.”
“I don’t know the solution for this problem, but I know it’s a problem,” said Allen.
Allen said that more lighting would likely help improve the safety of walking on the square in the evening hours.
According to Allen, when one streetlight on the square is out, it’s noticeable, but when two streetlights are out, “it’s like walking out into midnight.”
No official action was taken in regards to the parking on Public Square; however, Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason said the city will look into installing more lighting around the square to improve security.
In other business:
*The City Council approved a proposal from Pine View Nursery Owner and Operator Kevin Collard to plant trees at the Kenneth H. Goff Industrial Park.
The City Council budgeted $12,000 for this purpose, and Collard’s price for the work is $11,985.
Collard said he was first approached about planting trees in the industrial park 11 years ago.
Judge Kenneth H. Goff, the park’s namesake, had originally requested that the park consist entirely of nut trees, but Collard, who was inspired by Goff’s idea, proposed that the park include numerous types of trees, such as spruce, dogwood, pawpaw, and maple.
“There’s nothing I want more than to beautify this little city,” said Collard, adding that two pavilions will likely be added to the park, as well.
The City Council passed a motion to accept Collard’s proposal, and Thomason requested that the trees be planted by this Christmas.
*The City Council approved a change order of $44,000 from Scotty’s Contracting & Stone, LLC, for the Leitchfield Aquatic Center parking lot to add an access road to American Legion Post 81 Veterans Memorial Park, pending approval from the Leitchfield Tourism Commission.
*The City Council approved a $41,117.50 estimate from Scotty’s Contracting & Stone, LLC for blacktopping the aforementioned access road.
*The City Council approved the first reading of a rezoning ordinance for 507 North Main St. and 102 Marion St., changing them from R-2 to C-1.
*The City Council approved proclamations declaring Oct. 18-24 to be Freedom from Workplace Bullies Week and the month of November to be DECA Month.
*A letter submitted to the City of Leitchfield by Comcast Manager of Government Affairs Matt Kelley states that, beginning Nov. 19, 2015, “in order to simplify installation pricing and customer statements, all video, data, and/or voice installations, along with in-home service visits will be one flat fee of $75.00. There will no longer be a $15.00 fee for activating pre-wired outlets or any wireless network set-up fees.”
Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.