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Mayor upbeat in city address

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By Robin Bass

Taylorsville Mayor Don Pay presented a long list of accomplishments at his annual state of the city address that touted infrastructure improvements without increasing real and personal property taxes in 2009.

In his fourth address since taking office, Pay said that a plan has begun to rebuild the city street by street. Already major enhancements have been completed on Main Cross, Washington and Garrard streets. Roads have been repaved. Sidewalks have been poured. New streetlights and trees are in place. More importantly, said Pay, drainage problems are finally being fixed as crumbling sewer pipes are replaced.

“I like the direction we are heading,” Pay said Thursday at the Spencer County-Taylorsville Chamber of Commerce luncheon. “We will continue to make improvements throughout the city as we can.”

To fund most of these projects, Pay said the city commission is utilizing the approximate $240,000 in occupational taxes collected annually. Workers within the city limits have seen the extra 0.75 percent withdrawn from their paychecks since January 1, 2008.

Other major initiatives to improve public safety included:

• The installation of two warning sirens funded primarily by a $25,900 grant. The city’s portion of that project was just over $9,800.

• The purchase of a $60,000 pump to push rising waters over the floodwall, $55,000 of which was paid for with grant money.

• A new, fully-equipped, Ford Explorer for the Taylorsville Police Department  bought with drug seizure funds.

• The removal of unsightly and/or abandoned houses.

• The purchase of additional snow plowing/salting equipment.

• Obtaining a free street sweeper from Louisville Metro Government.

• Taylorsville Water Works purchase and installation of emergency generators to provide electricity to city hall in the event of an extended power outage.

Taylorsville City Commission has also been working on reducing expenditures, said Pay. He cited an interlocal agreement with the Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Protection District as an example. By contracting with the fire department for services, the city saw a savings of $20,000.

Fire Chief Nathan Nation said taxpayers also benefited from the arrangement when it eliminated a duplication of taxes for some city residents. Homeowners living in the annexed portions of Pin Oak, Early Wyne and Highview Estates subdivisions had a combined savings of about $15,000 in fire taxes.

“We’re always looking for ways to save money,” said Pay.

For all the accomplishments of the past year, the mayor said there is still more that can be done. Residents have expressed for years their desire for an emergency medical center to treat their physical needs and a community center to meet their social needs.

The issue of persistent flooding – particularly in the Houston Ct. area – also must be addressed. Pay said he is working with state and federal lawmakers in securing the estimated $1.5 million to fix Houston Ct. and satisfy a FEMA mandate to repair the floodwall.

“We have to work toward finding answers,” said Pay, to these and other issues facing Taylorsville.