MW residents get letters; city did not send them

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By Alex Wimsatt

 MOUNT WASHINGTON - Several Mount Washington residents recently received letters from the city regarding insurance. 

The thing is, the city never sent any letters regarding insurance. 

During the last regular meeting of the Mount Washington City Council, city utilities superintendent Ronnie Fick said a company called Hartford Steam Boiler Inspection and Insurance of Pennsylvania was sending solicitation letters under the city’s name and address without the city’s consent or knowledge.

“No one in the city knew anything about it,” he said. 

Waiving a copy of one of the letters, Fick said he received a dozen calls from people asking if the letters were legitimate.

City attorney Norman Lemme suggested the city clerk contact the Kentucky Department of Insurance to advise that Hartford Steam Boiler was sending letters in the city’s name without consent.

Asked what the department of insurance could do if the company indeed sent the letters under false pretense, Lemme said the state may require the company to send a second letter stating that the city had no knowledge of the initial letter. 

Lemme said the department of insurance could also have the company’s license suspended.

At this point, however, city officials aren’t sure of how many people received the letters, whether they were Hartford Steam Boiler policy holders or whether the letters were even sent by the company.

Fick warned everyone who receives a letter soliciting in the city’s name to be wary and notify City Hall. 

*The council passed an ordinance establishing the city’s motor vehicle tax for the 2013 calendar year. 

The 2013 rate is the same as the 2012 rate of 15 cents per $100 of assessed valuation of motor vehicles. 

Under the tax rate a Mount Washington resident with an automobile valued at $15,000 will pay $22.50 in taxes to the city.

The motion to accept the rate passed 5-0. Councilman Greg Gentry was absent.

*After deciding it was too costly to employ the Kentucky League of Cities to help them draft a strategic plan for Mount Washington, city officials opted instead to take part in a leadership retreat. 

For around $600 KLC will organize a retreat for city officials to learn the dynamics of strategic planning and, at the request of councilman Armstrong, speak with Kentuckiana Regional Planning and Development Agency transportation officials. 

During a previous meeting Armstrong expressed interest in working with KIPDA on developing a thorough, long-range plan for the city’s infrastructure.

“I think it’s a good place to start,” Armstrong said of the proposed retreat.

*The council approved Mayor Joetta Calhoun’s appointments to the city’s property maintenance hearing board. 

Under the property maintenance ordinance adopted by the previous council, Mount Washington property owners are required to adequately maintain their properties or else face fines or civil action. 

A hearing board was established to give property owners found in violation of the ordinance the opportunity to dispute fines imposed by the city.

Calhoun appointed councilman Gentry, Diane Buky, Alice Lucas, city surveyor John St. Clair and Mount Washington businessman Kenny Stout to serve on the board.

Councilman Gayle Troutman made the motion to approve the appointments. The motion passed 5-0.

*City officials approved a resolution allowing the city to enter into an assistance agreement with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority, which is financing the bulk of the city’s recently constructed $12.9 million waste water treatment plant. 

While the city appropriated nearly $3.5 million for the project, including a $1 million grant from the Kentucky General Assebly, KIA is providing the rest of the funds for the project in the form of a low interest Revolving Fund Loan. 

In order for the city to receive the $9.5 million loan city officials are required to enter into an assistance agreement with KIA in the form of a resolution. 

Councilman Shot Dooley made the motion to adopt the resolution. The motion passed 5-0.

*The next regular meeting of the Mount Washington City Council will be held on Monday, Sept. 24 at the City Hall Annex Building on Branham Way. The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited.