LJ looks to run sidewalks from school to library

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By Alex Wimsatt

    LEBANON JUNCTION - There may be a way for walkers to navigate the route along Highway 61 from the Lebanon Junction Elementary to the new library.

    The Lebanon Junction City Council  voted unanimously to authorize Jason Sams of Louisville engineering firm Suburban Design Group to put together a cost estimate on the proposed project.

    “We’ve got to start somewhere,” said councilman Larry Dangerfield. “We need this sidewalk.”

    Sams said he needed council’s approval to determine the cost of the project in its entirety so the city could see what’s needed as far as materials, labor, preparation and design.

    Sams told city officials the estimate would take him about two weeks to complete and the fee for his service would be around $1,000.

    The estimate would include a line-by-line breakdown of costs. Sams added that his firm had extensive knowledge of pricing from working with contractors on a regular basis.

    Councilman Tim Sanders asked Sams about his experience with municipal projects. Sams said he’s worked on sidewalks projects for Mount Washington, along with several other public and private entities.

    Sams said it was especially important that the city determine the cost of the sidewalk project because he anticipated a few challenges and they may be costly.

    “The land wasn’t set up for sidewalks,” he said.

    Sams added that the most significant portion of the cost would be drainage and retaining walls. Financing may be in issue for the city, as well.

    Mayor Butch Sweat said the city was working on securing grant funds for the project as Sams compiles his cost estimate.

    Sams said he should be able to present his findings to the council at its September regular meeting.

    In other business:

    *The council hear first reading of two ordinances establishing the city’s property tax rates for the 2010-2011 fiscal year.

    The ordinances didn’t establish any rates as of yet, however, city attorney Mark Edison, who drafted the ordinances, said the new rates would be in place as soon as Bullitt County Property Valuation Administration received certification from state officials.

    Until that happens the city can’t set its rates and Edison said he didn’t know when that would be, but he expected the new rates to be determined within the next few weeks.

    “If it’s not in next month, then we’ll start to worry,” Edison said.

    Edison said this year’s property tax rates should be about the same as they were last year despite the anticipated drops in property assessments.

    The council will hear second reading and more than likely approve the ordinances once the new rates are established.

    *Sanders announced that several local businesses had gotten together to form a business association in an effort to revitalize the downtown area and boost commerce.

    Sanders, who sits on the association on behalf of Publishers Printing, requested the city’s permission for the association to place welcome signs with local businesses on them near the north and south bound ramps of I-65.

    “We need to draw more people into the city,” Sanders said. “We think the signs would help.”

    Council members gave their blessings.

    Sanders said the signs would be 18” by 24”.

    The next regular meeting of the Lebanon Junction City Council will be held on Tuesday, Sept. 7, at City Hall on Main Street. The change will be due to the Labor Day holiday.

    The meeting is set to begin at 7 p.m. The public is invited to attend.