Shepherdsville approves budget with pay hikes

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By The Staff

    SHEPHERDSVILLE - The budget will be balanced and employees in Shepherdsville will receive a 3 percent pay increase.

    The Shepherdsville City Council approved the general fund and water and sewer budgets just in time for the beginning of a new fiscal year on July 1.

    The general fund budget will exceed $11.2 million for the year but councilmembers had several comments and concerns.

    For years, councilman Don Cundiff has warned that the city may some day not be able to pay full family medical insurance coverage for its employees.

    He asked that a committee be set up to at least study the situation. Scott Ellis and Alan Wetzel will work with Cundiff on the situation.

    Councilman Larry Hatfield was concerned about purchasing three more police cars, one of which would be used for the drug task force officer.

    Police chief Doug Puckett said he understood the concern but maintenance issues will begin getting costly when cars reach 100,000 miles. The city is on a rotational plan to replace cars each year and the annual bond payment this year is actually a decrease.

    He said the department could purchase two cars this year and survive.

    Councilmember Bonnie Enlow agreed with Hatfield. She was also concerned that the city revenue will continue to meet budget, especially with so many empty homes in Shepherdsville.

    Enlow’s other concern was the clothing allowance given to police officers. She inquired whether it was a guaranteed payment or if officers were reimbursed when they bought items.

    Puckett said it is up to the supervisors to make sure the officers are meeting standards in terms of uniforms and equipment. Paying the officers four quarterly payments is much better and much more common, said Puckett.

    It would be very time consuming to require purchase orders each time something needed to be purchased.

    Hatfield said he would like to see money set aside to remove the old water plant and to have the electrical service fixed downtown.

    Mayor Sherman Tinnell said both projects are in the works.

    With the money available, Tinnell said he felt the city had been able to accomplish a lot of work.

    “I think this city is very well blessed,” said Tinnell. “It’s a pretty good budget.”

    He credited city clerk Maxine Jeffries and the department heads for working together to prepare the budget.

    The budget passed unanimously.

    In other council business:

    *Depp Rasner said the painting project on the two underpasses could begin this year.

    A grant for $4,000 was approved by CSX and another $3,000 was awarded from the Edith Grigsby Trust.

    The Bullitt County Arts Council has been involved to oversee the project.

    Rasner said inmates would be utilized to clean the walls, with the assistance of the fire department. He anticipated painting the first overpass this year and the other next year.

    He anticipated needing to close the underpass for a couple of days.

    *The council voted to overturn a favorable recommendation on a zoning change.

    The Bullitt County Joint Planning Commission had recommended approval for the rezoning of a .3-acre tract at the corner of West Blue Lick Road at Bryant Lane.

    Jerry Fleener, one of the property owners, said the R-3 Residential setbacks would make for a better home on the property, currently zoned R-1 Residential.

    With the R-3 zoning, a duplex could also be allowed on the tract.

    However, Ellis said drainage is bad in the area and if anything is built on that lot, it would further put water on the surrounding neighbors.

    Kevin Smith brought pictures of existing drainage issues and he didn’t think a ditch, as proposed by Fleener, would solve the situation.

    The council voted unanimously to reject the planning commission’s recommendation and to reject the zoning request.

    The next meeting of the Shepherdsville City Council will be on Monday, July 12, at 6:30 p.m. at the government center. The public is invited to attend.