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MW budget approved according to plan

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By Mary Barczak

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - The Mount Washington City Council unanimously passed the 2013-14 city budget but that wasn’t a surprise.

Mount Washington mayor Joetta Calhoun said she expected the budget to pass.

“I think everyone came to a consensus,” she said.

Calhoun said she is pleased with the budget and thinks it is one that she can “work with.”

“The city looks to still be very healthy,” she said.

Some new additions from last year include more money added to the Main Street program fund and for new road development.

Calhoun said one of the focuses for the remainder of her term is trying to bring new business to Mount Washington. 

She asked the council during one of the workshops to add more money to the main street program fund to hire a full-time Main Street program director. 

She said she wants the person who fills this position to work on promoting downtown and marketing the business park. 

Lori Puchino who is the current director, works part-time for the city.

Another area of interest was road development.

Councilman Barry Armstrong said that traffic was an issue that would continue to grow if they did not address it.

“I’m talking about building new roads where there is grass growing right now,” he said.

The council agreed to put aside $50,000 aside for new road development.

Calhoun said the money may be used for road studies on how Mount Washington can ease traffic specifically on Highway 44 and Bells Mill Road.

“We are trying to plan ahead for the future,” she said.

The councilmembers had two workshop sessions to review the budget and during that time topics regarding the cost of business licenses and road work surfaced.

Councilman Brent Wheeler said, at Monday’s meeting, that he would like to continue looking into the business license issue. 

During one of the workshop sessions, the council discussed possibly changing how much to charge a business for a business license depending on how big it is.

“I want to look into the large box store versus a mom-and-pop,” he said.

The city currently charges all businesses $75 for a business license.

On that same note, Wheeler said the council should also look into occupational taxes to see how much an employee is paying and how much their employer is paying.

Other happenings at the meeting included:

*Bullitt County Attorney Monica Robinson attended to meeting to ask the council for aid.

She said her office is currently short staffed and unable to meet the needs of the people concerning public safety. She asked the council to talk to the magistrates to intercede for her.

*Peggy Brinkman gave her treasurer’s report to the council which was unanimously approved.

*During the mayor’s report, Calhoun told the council the city had received two bids from firms wanting to do their annual city audit. 

The council chose to go with the firm Dean, Dorton, Allen and Ford because the firm provided them with a set timetable. 

The term will be for three years.

“It’s just to give us a clear picture from an outside entity to see how we are doing financially,” Calhoun said.

Towards the end of the meeting, the council went into a closed session to discuss a two personnel matters.

City attorney Matthew Lemme said the council gave him instructions on how to proceed with the “pending litigation.”

*Utility Superintendent Ronnie Fick told the council informed the council about a new federal mandate about street signs. “All street signs will have to be reflective,” he said. 

The city will have to come up with the money itself to replace all of these. Fick said there has been a floating deadline of June 2014, but he would find out more about it soon.

The next council meeting will be at 6:30 p.m. at the city annex on June 24. The public is invited to attend.