MW will not hike insurance take

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By Mary Barczak

MOUNT WASHINGTON -- County officials can breathe a sigh of relief.

The Mount Washington City Council has voted to continue to take only 4 percent of the 5 percent insurance premium tax collected by the county.

Some cities have opted to take the entire 5 percent.

However, for at least the next year, Mount Washington will remain at the 4 percent mark.

If they had chosen to take the increase, city treasurer Peggy Brinkman said it would have meant an additional $120,000 for the city coffers.

Councilman Greg Gentry mentioned the council has voted to continue to leave the county the 1 percent in the past because of some help they have provided such as blacktopping when they were in need.

Ronnie Fick, city utilities superintendent, said the city usually purchases the materials and then the county will provide the labor and trucks.

Councilman Brent Wheeler reminded the council the county instituted the tax to raise money to build the detention center.

"That was the best way they found to generate the funds," he said.

Wheeler continued that it is the taxpayer's money, but you also want "work with the county as best you can."

The council agreed that they recently had a good audit and are in a good position financially to leave the tax revenue percentage where it is at this time.

Local surveyor John St. Clair said the city should see a substantial increase on their revenue from that 4 percent shortly due to all of the updates they have been doing on the city boundaries for the secretary of state's office.

In other business:

- Fick asked the council to authorize the mayor to enter into an agreement to hire a company to write a grant for a new water tower. The council approved.

- Lori Puchino, director of the Main Street program, attended the library trustee board meeting and asked them to reconsider tearing down the old Methodist Church.

They said it was a done deal but assured her they would be visiting Mount Washington for input in the design of the new library.

Councilman Barry Armstrong asked if the board was interested in expanding the park next to it at all and Puchino said they were and she was excited to have that space for gatherings such as the Music on Main.

She said she has also been in touch Elaine Wilson, executive director of adventure tourism for the state, about the city becoming the state's third trail town with the addition of the Parklands.

"We need a venue to rent bikes, canoes or kayaks and a couple more restaurants," she said.

Puchino said she recently started Main Street coffee club meetings to give local business owners a chance to talk about how to grow their businesses. The meetings will take place every second Thursday from 9 to 10 a.m. at Sweet Sprinkles Bakery.

-The council approved an ordinance annexing 1.42 acres at the water tower site located on Armstrong Lane.

They also heard first readings on two other annexation ordinances. One to annex 14.38 acres at Eastbrooke Pointe Drive and the other to annex 8.68 acres on Brookeway and Eastbrooke Pointe drives.

-Council approved the audit done by Dean Dorton. Wheeler said the audit is something the public should be proud of Armstrong said the result has put the city in a good position for a "bright future."

- Residents Tim and Tammy Colvin addressed the council about the business license they applied for for their lawn care business but haven't received.Tammy said she didn't understand why it hadn't been approved because they have applied in previous years and got it. Armstrong told Tammy someone had made a complaint about her business and that's why the city attorney was reviewing the case.

He assured Tammy that she would be treated fairly.

Wheeler said if there turns out to be no problem with the building in question where she stores her equipment, then they need to make sure and expedite her process for the license from here on.

-Tony Thompson, candidate for judge executive, also introduced himself to the council. He said he would do anything he could to represent the city at fiscal court.

"We are all in this together," he said.

-Linda Belcher, candidate for representative for the 49th district, also addressed the council. She said she plans to continue to remain accessible to citizens of the community and work with elected officials to get more accomplished in Bullitt County.

"The governor says I nag but that's OK because it gets things done," she said.

The council asked Belcher what her coverage area would be under the new districts and she said she would try and get new maps to the council soon.

-City Engineer Dave Derrick said they've moved all of the utilities out of the way for the Armstrong Lane project so now it's up to the state to work on their part. He said the next project to be worked on in the area will be Bells Mill Road.

Derrick said it will be a much "simpler" process there because all they will have to move utility-wise this time will be water lines.

- Armstrong brought up the city pays about $14,000 a month for light expenses. He asked Fick if anything could be done to decrease it. Fick said they rent the street lights from Salt River Electric and LG & E. He said he's heard about some cities in Jefferson County utilizing solar lights but has not heard if they have worked or not. The council tossed around the idea of trying to get some associations to pay for the street lights.

- The hearing for former officer Ken Hardin was postponed due to another continuance.

- Armstrong announced the city had a new code enforcement officer Ralph Broyles.

The next city council meeting will be on Monday, March 10, at 6:30 p.m. at the city annex. The public is invited to attend.