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Council OKs mayor, council pay hikes, financing for Bethlehem athletic complex

 

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Friday, May 4, 2018 — The Bardstown City Council approved resolutions that are the first step for Bethlehem High School’s efforts to finance construction of Phase 1 of its new athletics complex that will be built on KY 245 near Lincoln way.

Bethlehem Principal Tom Hamilton and a representative of the Stites and Harbison law firm described the plans for Phase 1 of the project, which will include clearing the land, building a stadium with a track, as well as construction of a softball field and field house.

Hamilton said they expect Phase 1 to cost approximately $3.5 million. Overall, the athletic complex’s overall cost will top $7 million.

The school has been raising money for the project for nearly two years, Hamilton said. The school has pledges of $3.9 million raised so far.

He told the council the school expects to break ground on the complex by mid-summer.

GAS FRANCHISE AGREEMENT. The council gave first reading of an ordinance to replace the natural gas franchise agreement that expired in 2006.

The proposed agreement will allow the city to exact a franchise tax on natural gas customers in Bardstown, which will create a new source of revenue for the city. Mayor Dick Heaton has previously said the franchise fee will be 3 percent paid for by customers.

COUNCIL, MAYOR PAY HIKES. The council gave final unanimous approval of pay increases for the members of the next city council and the city’s next mayor whose terms of office will begin in January 2019.

Councilmembers pay was increased from $750 to $1,250 per month. The mayor’s pay was increased from $1,500 to $2,500 per month.

The pay rates have not changed in 20 years.

The new ordinance also ties the mayor and council pay to the Consumer Price Index, which means their pay will be adjusted automatically once a year.

NEXT UP. The council will next meet at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 8, 2018 in the council meeting room in the city hall annex adjacent to the Rec Center building on Xavier Drive.

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