By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times
Olive Hill Council, masked and spread around the room at different tables, accepted an email report from Carter County librarian Christy Boggs during their regular meeting last Tuesday, which was broadcast to the public over Facebook Live – the very picture of a public meeting in the pandemic age. Questions and comments were solicited during the public comment period by relay from the city employee running the livestream.
The report contained a pair of requests; one for continued funding and another for the appointment of board members.
Boggs explained in her report that the city of Grayson has agreed to meet their financial obligation to the library, voting to fund the library during a special meeting on election night. She then asked the city of Olive Hill to confirm their commitment to continue their share of funding for the library.
Council moved to approve the request, in the form of a motion authorizing the mayor to enter into the necessary interlocal agreement with the library to continue providing that funding. Olive Hill had previously approved paying their quarterly share of the library’s funding and received assurances from then library board president Jeff Erwin that, if Grayson failed to fund their share and a library branch needed to close, Olive Hill’s branch would remain open. Erwin has since resigned from the library board.
The library’s other request was for the nomination and approval of new library board members. Boggs provided council with a list of potential candidates, though council was also free to choose their own candidate. Council chose William Parsons and Shannon Harr from the list of nominees by show of hands. They then voted unanimously to approve Parsons and Harr for the board. Parsons and Harr replace Erwin and Teena Liles, who recently resigned from the board as well.
In other action council discussed progress on the new police station, roadblock fundraisers, and condemned buildings; and had the first readings of ordinances related to alcoholic beverages and adding paid firefighters to the list of city employees.
Councilman Justin Dixon asked Mayor Jerry Callihan about progress on remodeling the former health department building for police use. Callihan said the city had solicited bids for the work needed on the building and they were “outrageous.”
Because of this, he said, the city may utilize city crews and police labor to begin the necessary work on the building. Callihan said it would likely be “to get the ball rolling” and bring the station up to where the police could begin working out of it while other work progressed. Callihan said HVAC was among the few areas where city crews wouldn’t be able to do the work.
Callihan also said that roadblock fundraisers would still be allowed, despite heightened COVID restrictions. Council noted that roadblock workers would be wearing masks and would be able to receive funds without contact through automobile windows.
Council also discussed a question they had received about a condemned building that is attached to other standing structures. Callihan said it has been condemned but there are no plans to take it down yet, though it may need taken down in the future. He said the challenge was in taking the building down without impacting the attached structures on either side.
Council also moved to accept the treasurer’s report and, after an executive session, moved to set the date for a special session on Monday, November 23. That meeting agenda included the second readings of the two items on the agenda for first reading on Tuesday.
Council approved the first readings of an ordinance adding the fire department to the salary classification scale, and amendment to the municipal code related to alcoholic beverages. They also approved a municipal order, order 2020-04, adding the description of a fire department employee to the employee classifications. (See Fighting Fires in this edition.)
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