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Guns in the city: Olive Hill has first reading of firearms ordinance

By: Jeremy D. Wells
Carter County Times

 The city of Olive Hill held the first reading of an ordinance that would prohibit the discharge of firearms within city limits, except under certain situations. The ordinance, if passed, would also apply to bow and arrows, sling shots, or air guns. Exceptions would be granted for the discharge of firearms in temporary or permanent firing ranges, during competitive events, or other designated firing ranges. 

The law would also exempt gun owners from being charged under the statute if they discharge their firearms during certain situations where the life or safety of the gun owner or another was in danger. This could include situations like break-ins or assaults, where the gun owner is using the firearm to protect their person, their home, or their family. 

Council also had first reading of an ordinance setting their property tax rate for 2020. City treasurer Chimila Hargett recommended council take the compensating rate of .237 cents per $100 of valuation, for both real estate and tangibles. Hargett told council that the city will has seen an increase in revenue of $4.3 million in property taxes because of new construction alone, citing development from the new Giovanni’s Pizza, the new Dollar General location, and the annexation of the John Clark Oil property, among others. 

Hargett said if the city takes the compensating rate it will result in a very slight increase in revenue for the city. That increase would amount to around $10,000 more in tax revenue for Olive Hill. 

In other action council discussed the purchase conditions of the deal that resulted in the purchase of the Olive Hill Depot. The Olive Hill Chamber of Commerce has been actively engaged in efforts to turn the building, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, into a welcome center for the city. Council noted that the depot was purchased with grant funds that restricted it to very specific uses. City attorney Derrick Willis asked the Chamber to come up with a plan that reflected their intended uses of the building and he would look into the grant restrictions to see if those uses were acceptable under the terms of the agreement. 

Council also moved to set Trick or Treat for Halloween night, Saturday, October 31, from 6 – 8 p.m. Council moved to approve participation in a hazardous jobs retirement plan for Olive Hill police, through CPRS. 

“I think it’s well overdue,” councilman Justin Dixon said of the hazardous jobs retirement plan. 

 Council heard from Grayson mayor George Steele as well. Steele is attempting to build consensus between Grayson and Olive Hill on issues where Steele believes the county should be covering costs for the cities, including animal control, fire department costs and E911 dispatching. (See What should county taxes cover? in this edition.) 

Contact the writer at editor@cartercountytimes.com

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