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Council OKs industrial revenue bond resolution, approves budget amendment

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Oct. 10, 2017 — The Bardstown City Council approved a resolution Tuesday evening regarding industrial revenue bonds in support of the possible location of a new distillery project in the Bardstown area.

Jeff McKenzie, an attorney with Bingham, Greenbaum & Doll, explains how the industrial revenue bonds will serve as an incentive for a bourbon distiller looking at Bardstown as a site for a new distillery.

The bonds would be used to finance up to $150 million in construction costs to create  a new distillery to create, age and bottle Kentucky bourbon.

Jeff McKenzie, an attorney with Bingham, Greenbaum & Doll, told the council the client he represents is looking at a number of places — including Bardstown — as possible sites to locate a bourbon distillery operation.

Kim Huston, president of the Nelson County Economic Development Agency (NCEDA), said the action by the council means that if Bardstown is selected as the location for the new distillery, everything will be in place for the project to begin in short order.

The council met in executive session to discuss the matter. When the council returned to its public meeting, it voted 4-0 to approve the industrial revenue bonds resolution. Councilman David Dones had a possible conflict of interest and did not participate in the executive session or the vote to approve the industrial revenue bonds resolution. Councilman Roland Williams was absent from the meeting.

BUDGET AMENDMENT. The council’s recent agreement to pay Councilwoman Kecia Copeland a $40,000 settlement to resolve a possible lawsuit related to actions against her by the prior administration required the council to amend its 2017-18 budget Tuesday evening.

Mayor Dick Heaton and City Clerk Mary Riley talk briefly prior to the start of Tuesday’s council meeting.

In an email to the council, Mayor Dick Heaton told the council that to avoid having to make other amendments later in the year, he asked the city’s department heads to examine their budgets to determine if there were other budget adjustments that could also be included in this amendment.

In addition making adjustments for the payment to Copeland, the budget amendment also included:

– an increase of $8,000 to pay for a “Welcome to Bardstown” sign for the Boston Road corridor into Bardstown. Heaton said about half the cost may be covered in funds from an area development district grant;

– a $19,200 decrease in contract services by having City Hall housekeeping duties moved in-house;

– a $65,000 increase in the fire department revenue to account for three grants the department has received;

– a $100,000 increase in cable internet revenue due to an increase in customers in new coverage areas, and;

– an increase of $30,000 in expenses for cable and TV advertising for a total of $60,000. The two departments, cable TV and internet — previously had separate  advertising expense budgets of $30,000, and the change corrected an oversight.

In other business, the council:

— approved the municipal road aid agreement with the state’s Transportation Cabinet in order to receive $231,161.86 for the repair and maintenance of city streets.

— approved second and final reading of changes to the city’s classification and compensation plan. The changes approved allow Chief Kim Kraeszig to make changes she requested to the police department command structure. The changes will create two assistant police chief positions. One assistant chief will cover administration, the other will focus on operations.

— approved the requested road closures for the annual Bardstown-Nelson County Kiwanis Christmas Parade set for 6 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017.

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