Sisler-Maggard contract questioned

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By Shannon Brock

The city of Taylorsville Commission rejected a proposal Tuesday, March 4 to have the mayor execute a continuing engineering services agreement with Sisler-Maggard by a 3 to 2 vote. Mayor Don Pay, commissioner Ellen Redmon and commissioner Jack Proctor voted against the proposal, which was supported by commissioners Beverly Ingram and Kathy SpearsCity Clerk Steve Biven said that the purpose of the continuing services agreement would be to keep from having to come back each time to the commission to approve work. Biven said that the Kentucky Department of Transportation had asked the city to enter into such an arrangement. Commissioner Proctor said that the agreement as written looks broad and he stated that he did not want to get bound up forever in an agreement with one company. He said that he would support the measure if it was limited to the two upcoming projects the commission was already aware of being the water line relocation for the Blue Bridge project and the Normandy Road project. Commissioner Redmon appeared to agree with Proctor and said that she did not like the idea of an open ended contract during her vote against the measure.
Mayor Don Pay used the discussion as an opportunity to bring up his concerns with KDOT’s Blue Bridge project in general.“This is one of those issues where I don’t think the community was given an alternative on a new bridge or what it would cost to fix the old bridge,” Pay said.
Pay said if the new bridge goes in that it should be in keeping with what the city is trying to do from a historical perspective. Pay said the city has gone to a lot of expense in rebuilding Main Street and adding elements such as the street signs and old-fashioned street-lamps. Pay said he is opposing the agreement because he believes the city needs new engineering.Due to the failure of the proposal, future agreements will be submitted to the city on a case by case basis as they have been in the past.
The commission also spent a significant portion of Tuesday’s meeting discussing possible changes in the 911/dispatch system. The issue originally was discussed during last Monday’s Fiscal Court meeting and resurfaced during Taylorsville Police Chief Toby Lewis’ presentation Tuesday.Lewis gave his position on the meeting in fiscal court Monday. Lewis said he originally was not aware that the issue was on the fiscal court’s agenda and that he had been made aware of the item by Magistrate Jerry Davis. Lewis reiterated that a reduction in home telephones would result in a $12,000 shortfall in the amount of funds available for the 911 contract with the Kentucky State Police.
Lewis said Spencer County Sheriff Buddy Stump addressed concerns with KSP dispatch that Lewis said he did not know to be factual.“Dispatch centers get busy,” Lewis said. “KSP does an excellent job for us.”
Lewis said he had spoken with other officials involved in the 911 contract with KSP, including Taylorsville-Spencer County Fire Protection District Chief Nathan Nation. The discussions included the various departments possibly splitting the cost of the shortfall and agreeing to pay $3,000 to $4,000 a-piece to keep the system in place.
Nation agreed with Lewis’ analysis of the efficiency of KSP and the necessity to retain the contract.
“We’ve come a long way … I don’t want to lose all that we have done,” Nation said.
Both Lewis and Nation said their fear is having different county departments going through several dispatch centers.
“We don’t want to have multiple dispatch centers,” Lewis said.
“Of all things to be politicized, it does not need to be 911,” Nation said.
In other matters before the commission:
• City Comptroller Randy McConnell provided the financial report to the commission. McConnell said that the city is fully collateralized at all three local banks. He said the city has, so far, collected $146,000 in property taxes, with $5,500 remaining uncollected. McConnell added that water revenue rates continue to lag some $136,000 behind budget, which was somewhat offset by meter-set revenue at $17,000 over budget. Due to the snow and other inclement weather, street repair and maintenance was $7,000 over budget. McConnell said Louisville Water Co. will be raising the price of its water delivered to the city from $2.05 per 1,000 gallons to $2.10 per 1,000 gallons. This will result in a $27,000 increase cost to the city, based on current rates.
• The commissioners unanimously approved repairing a 2004 Ford Crown Victoria owned by the Taylorsville Police Department. Lewis said an original estimate to repair the vehicle was for $1,300, but he later received a lower estimate for $996.21.
• The commissioners discussed the police department’s policy and possible future reorganization due to the retirement of Lewis.
• The commissioners set a work session for Thursday, March 13, at 4 p.m. to discuss the city’s personnel policy.
• Biven updated the commission on the status of the waterline relocation for the Blue Bridge project. Biven said that the Spencer County Levee Commission needs to sign off on the relocation before it can be completed.
• The commission approved a waterline relocation agreement with KDOT for the Blue Bridge project.
• The commission approved a cell tower lease termination with Sprint. Biven explained that since AT&T bought Sprint, AT&T has been removing Sprint antennas and communication devices including the one located on the Wilsonville Road tank.
• Public Works Director Harold Compton told the commissioners that the city received a grant from the Kentucky League of Cities to replace 1700 square feet of sidewalk. Compton said that the work must be done and invoices turned in by April 1. Ingram and Pay asked Compton to look at the areas of the city with the greatest need and report back to the commission.
• City Attorney John Dale Jr. discussed the proposed alcohol sales ordinance. Dale said he had drafted a proposed ordinance and has been corresponding with Alcohol Beverage Control attorney Steve Humphrey on the proper language for the ordinance. Dale also informed the council that the rezoning ordinance for Steve Goodlett’s properties located at 408 and 410, Garrard St., had not yet been drafted.
• Linda Street and Annette King presented a report on behalf of Taylorsville Main Street. Street said the program received a $1,000 grant to be used for beautification work on Highway 55 where it intersects with Main Street. Street also asked about signage regulations for political candidates and voiced concerns that signs could take away from the beauty of the downtown area.
King presented information on the new “Dinner in Jail” event planned for April 26. The event will be limited to 75 people and the Main Street Program hopes to offer the event in future years as well. King also presented dates for: The Sidewalk Sale, May 17; Girlfriend Day, Aug 1, and the Progressive Dinner, Sept. 27.
• Scott Street of Habitat for Humanity asked the city to partner with Habitat for the removal of a large tree located on a lot on Maple Avenue Habitat intends to build two houses for two Spencer County residents on the lot. Street said the tree is primarily on city property and without removal Habitat cannot build on the lot.
• Carroll Dean Curtsinger was officially sworn in as a member of the Board of Adjustments.