Two residents of the Caneyville community addressed the Caneyville City Commission Monday night to brainstorm ways to beautify the city.

John Pharis and daughter Hannah Keown approached the city commission during its regular meeting Monday about what ordinances are in place regarding nuisances, such as trash, unmowed yards, and unused cars.

Pharis said the city is doing great work in the community, but it is not fair for residents to have their properties affected by neighbors and fellow citizens with properties in poor condition.

Keown said the poor conditions of some homes in Caneyville are bringing their neighbors' property values down, and something needs to be done about it.

Caneyville Mayor James Embry said he and the city commission agree with Pharis and Keown and would like to see the city cleaned up. He also noted that, in the city's nuisance ordinance, it states that a private property may have no more than two motor vehicles in inoperative condition.

Pharis said he appreciates the historic vision of Caneyville and wants to see it preserved for future generations by ensuring it looks its best.

"It's a beautiful town to drive into from any direction," he said.

Keown and Pharis suggested possibly providing incentives to property owners who maintain their properties, such as beautification awards. Keown also suggested holding city activities to raise money to help repair/maintain homes in poor condition within the city for property owners who may not be able to afford to do so themselves.

Embry said Keown's idea was a good one, and the city needs new ideas.

City Commissioner Mike Geary said he appreciates Pharis and Keown's interest and efforts, and he noted that they will likely encounter some resistance along the way. He also said this issue is not exclusive to Caneyville, and that many cities and areas are struggling with it.

Embry said people can become defensive when the condition of their property is questioned or they are asked to better maintain it.

Pharis said a better way to approach individuals is to ask how their fellow citizens can help.

"We love this community," Pharis said. "We don't need to step backwards."

Pharis also said that an important element of having a family community is keeping children in the community, and problems such as dilapidated or unmaintained properties need to be nipped in the bud while they can still be controlled.

"Things are picking up," he said, adding that he and Keown want to get more people involved in beautifying the community and helping those who need it.

Geary agreed and said that, if the city can get more people involved in this effort, it can get the work done.

Embry encouraged Pharis and Keown to obtain petition signatures in support of the clean-up of Caneyville.

Keown and Pharis are expected to return to the city commission in the coming months to continue the conversation about how best to beautify the city.

The city's current nuisance ordinance sets the penalty for violations at a fine of no less than $100 nor more than $500 or imprisonment for no more than 30 days. The ordinance also states that each day in which a violation continues after notice is provided constitutes a separate offense.

The full nuisance ordinance is available for review at Caneyville City Hall.

In other business:

*The city commission voted to hire Hartford, Kentucky attorney Tara Ward as its city attorney at a pay rate of $100 per hour.

*The city commission accepted a $3,650 bid from Leon Green for the sale of a 1982 GMC tanker recently declared surplus.

*Geary reported that the recent Caneyville Day event raised $2,060 for the Purple Flash Center.

*The city commission voted to purchase new swings for the Purple Flash Center playground.