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Growing Olive Hill

City council approve corridor annexation along Rt. 2

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

The city limits of Olive Hill took steps to grow a little bit bigger last Tuesday, when council moved to approve an intent to annex ordinance that expands the city through what is known as corridor annexation along KY Route 2. The move could allow businesses along Route 2 to have their property taken into the city limits. This would allow them to enjoy certain benefits of being inside the city limits, such as the ability to apply for a liquor sales license. This isn’t the first time the city has grown through corridor annexation. Last year the city made a similar move, annexing a narrow corridor down US 60, that took the John Clark Oil property into city limits. That move allowed the property to apply for a license to sell beer and alcohol while keeping other homes and properties in the Pleasant Valley area untouched and outside of city limits. While the corridor annexation doesn’t force those living along the corridor to join the city, it does leave the option open. City utility lines for water and gas already extend along the Route 2 corridor. However, while property owners along the corridor can tie into those utilities, they do not otherwise have to abide by city statues or pay city property and occupational taxes unless they request to have their property taken into the city.

While the move to annex along the US 60 corridor and take the John Clark Oil property into the city was controversial, with some Pleasant Valley residents – who initially worried they would be forced to join the city – protesting the plan, the move to annex along Route 2 saw no such protests.

In other action the city moved to pass an ordinance repealing an ordinance dating to 1949 relating to license fees for businesses. Ordinance 2020-02 repealed ordinance 1949-46, which was found to be in conflict with the Kentucky Revised Statutes and other city ordinances related to business licensing.

The city also moved to pass an ordinance that repealed the ordinance empowering the city’s Historic District and Architectural Review Board. That ordinance, created in 2004, was meant to help preserve historical buildings and preserve the architectural feel of the city’s downtown area. However, with the large number of buildings needing rehabilitation or renovation following the 2010 floods, council found the restrictions of the board “unduly burdensome” to property owners and prospective businesses looking to locate downtown. The ordinance repealing the board also noted that the city has other zoning laws “sufficient to protect the safety” of citizens.

Council also entered into the first reading of an ordinance repealing council as the code enforcement board. Council will now need to create new board and appoint board members to oversee code enforcement issues.

Council also moved to approve the treasurer’s report for May and approve a request from the treasurer to cash in a certificate of deposit with Commercial Bank that has matured, and to move the $204,000 the city will receive from that cd into the utility fund. The cd was part of a requirement for a water bond issued in 1981, which has now been paid off in full.

“With utility bills not being paid, this will certainly not hurt us in the utility fund,” city clerk and treasurer Chimila Hargett told council.

Council also discussed the use of spigot meters (see “Cutting the sewage bills” in this issue) and moved to approve changes to how customers are charged for spigot meters; discussed requests to place “children at play” signs and speedbumps or other traffic control measures along Parker Memorial Drive; answered questions about the rental of the senior citizens center, discussed insurance needs for the fire department and employee insurance rates, and set the first date for a special meeting to discuss the 2020-2021 budget, before entering into executive session to discuss pending litigation.

On the Parker Memorial Drive question, mayor Jerry Callihan said that speed bumps present many problems for the city. In addition to needing surveying and approval of neighbors impacted by the placement of speed bumps, Callihan noted that salt trucks often have issues with the raised areas when salting roads in winter. One proposed compromise was the placement of grooves in the road which would force traffic to slow down without impeding the utilization of salt trucks. Signs noting that children were at play were “not an issue” Callihan said, and could be placed along the road. Senior Center Rentals will not be allowed for the foreseeable future, because, as Hargett noted, the city is “still under a state of emergency,” and they were unable to “police for social distancing” and numbers of people inside if the facility was rented out. Council agreed that while the facility is currently closed to senior citizens as well, once it reopens the health and well being of seniors who use the facility are their main priorities. Council also moved to approve a new insurance agreement with IEPIS for fire insurance which would allow the department to maintain flood and equipment insurance that they were going to lose under their old policy.

Council set a July 14 date for a special meeting to discuss the budget, noting that after July 1 they would be able to accommodate public meetings of 50 people or fewer.

They also approved a new touchless time clock system that allows employees to clock in remotely through smart devices while noting where they are when they clock in. Hargett told council the system is one of several items that may be eligible for reimbursement due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Other items the city might qualify for financial assistance on included the hiring of temporary staff to complete tasks formerly completed with inmate labor and other COVID-19 related costs.

After returning from executive session the council moved to approve receipt of the health department building in exchange for $30,000 to resolve a pending civil action in Carter County Circuit Court.

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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