MW looks to add benches along Bardstown Road

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By Mary Barczak

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - Residents and visitors may soon have some more places to place their bottoms.

At a recent Mount Washington City Council meeting, Lori Puchino, director of the Main Street program, said several new benches will be added to the landscape.

“I believe I have six out of 10 sold,” she said.

The benches are being sponsored by individuals and local businesses. There will be nine with backs and one without. She said they also have the option to purchase a plaque designating the sponsor. The cost is about $1,300.

Puchino said she thinks the addition will add to the aesthetic of the town making it more friendly and walkable.

Once the benches are ordered, she said, it will take about two to three weeks for them to arrive. They will be handmade by craftsman in Pennsylvania.

Council member Barry Armstrong asked if an “attractive trash receptacle” could be placed next to each of the benches.

Puchino said this is something they are also considering.

The council agreed it would be a welcome incentive for the city.

In other business:

-Puchino held the first meeting for the farmer’s market and had 15 people attend. The first one will be the first Saturday in June starting from 8  until 11 a.m. They’ve also decided to continue also offering a market on Wednesday nights from 4 to 7 p.m. for those who cannot make it on the weekend.

“I think that’s a good plan,” commented Armstrong.

Puchino said they’ve had one new business open up a monogram boutique called Cordial Lee located at 611 N. Bardstown Road.

Mayor Joetta Calhoun said a good draw from the business is that they do all of the work on site so the employees are paying city occupation taxes.

Puchino reminded the council the Mount Washington Spring Festival will be May 9-10. She said she’s been working with the committee to obtain sponsors.

She also said she wants to put together some cleanup efforts around Earth Day, April 22.

- The council reviewed the changes to the city take home policy for police cruisers. They agreed to table it until the next meeting for a decision to give them more time to consider it and give the absent members a chance to vote.

Armstrong said  he was in favor of the proposed changes for no fee and a 15 mile radius.

“It puts the police in public view and may deter speeding or criminal acts,” he said.

Police Chief Roy Daugherty told the council they wanted to bring the number back to something more reasonable. Currently the policy reads, city employees assigned vehicles can drive it within a 25 miles radius of the city.

Calhoun said there’s still room in there for exceptions approved by her position if they find someone worthy.

-All council members were present except Brent Wheeler and Gayle Troutman.

-During the mayor’s report, Calhoun said she had been in contact with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet about when the white house on the corner of Highway 44 and Armstrong Lane would be demolished. Officials told her they had begun removing trees for the highway project and the wrecking was being bid out.

She also shared with the council that they would be having someone update their website to make it more modern. Afterwards, residents should be able to submit a complaint online, sign up for notifications and even report potholes.

-During council reports, Armstrong proposed the city offer their own insurance with water services to customers in case their waterline breaks.

The city has about 9,200 water customers currently, said utilities superintendent Ronnie Fick.

Calhoun said she knows other cities have done it and they would check into it.

Council member Sandra Hockenbury pointed out they would have to specify if the insurance would cover repair and/or water costs.

Armstrong said he’d like to see it include both.

“I’ll be the first one to sign up for it,” he said.

Fick said they would have to obtain special permits from the state to be able to work on private property.

Council member Greg Gentry said if they did decide to offer this they need to find a way to let the public know about it without just adding it to the bill. The council agreed with his suggestion and planned to discuss it further later on.

During his report, Gentry said he was pleased to see new Irish company Portwest LLC come to the county which could mean more jobs for residents.

-City Engineer Dave Derrick said he would attend a meeting about the start of the Lloyds  Lane and Bogard Lane project this week. He said he expected them to physically start on the project next year sometime.

-The council had the first reading of an ordinance to annex 9.949 acres known as Hillcrest Subdivison section 3 and part of Hillcrest Subdivision section 2.

-The council went into executive session to discuss personnel, litigation and property.

City Attorney Matthew Lemme said a resolution was reached with First Federal Savings Bank. The lawsuit started in 2009.

The city will pay the bank $7,000 for attorney fees if the city fails to issue building permits for lots in the Heritage Creek Subdivison. The bank will pay the city an agreed estimate $94,000 to $104,000 depending on how much it takes to complete the roads.

From here on, he said the city will require developers to have roads completed; paid contracts for completion must be submitted or a line of credit in favor of the city for completion be provided before a building permit is issued.

Lemme said the council gave him instructions regarding the property.

The next meeting will be on Monday, April 14, at 6:30 p.m. at the city annex. The public is invited to attend.