CEDAR GROVE - A rezoning issue for a local fire department could get a bit more complicated.
Bullitt Fiscal Court listened to the first reading of a rezoning request for Southeast Bullitt Fire Department on a one-acre tract off Ironwood Trail.
The request is to rezone the property from R-1 Residential to B-1 Highway Business.
During the planning commission hearing, most of the discussion revolved around residents' concerns that a new body shop wanted to open a business.
But for fiscal court members, the scope seemed to move toward confusion over the two entities which are involved in the operations.
Attorney Tim White said the Southeast Bullitt Fire District Inc. is the taxing district that contracts with Southeast Bullitt Fire Department to provide fire protection.
Formed under the Kentucky Revised Statutes Chapter 75, White said it allows the taxing district to collect the annual taxes and then contract with another entity to provide fire protection. Or is also has the option of running its own fire department.
Fire chief Julius Hatfield said that it was the fire department that built the Ironwood Trail station, as well as the other facilities in the district.
Magistrate Ruthie Ashbaugh was concerned that tax dollars were used to operate the district and now the building is being sold to a private entity.
She added that some people are very unhappy that tax dollars are collected and then turned over the fire department. The public has no say in how the money is spent, said Ashbaugh.
White said the fire district board could terminate the long-term contract at any time. And he said the public could always run for election to the district board.
Magistrate John Bradshaw said some of the concern and confusion is that some of the same members are on the fire district board as serve with the fire department.
He felt there would be a conflict of interest.
No matter the concerns, White said the issue before fiscal court is for a zoning change.
He said there were two other body shops in the immediate area and there had been changes since the comprehensive land-use plan was adopted.
Robinson said there seemed to be some concern whether one board can give certain powers to another board. She would research that issue.
The first reading for the rezoning will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 30, at 9:30 a.m. in the courthouse. The public is invited to make comments during the hearing. A final vote will occur at the Nov. 7 meeting.
Fran Colburn, a resident of Ironwood Trail, said she opposed the rezoning. With two body shops within close proximity, she was opposed to another one.
Even with restrictions over visual barriers, Colburn was opposed.
Hatfield said that the department was no longer in need of the facility and selling it would return the property to the tax rolls.