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Council OKs lower tax rate, questions arts festival request to close West Broadway

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2018 — After a very brief public hearing during which no one spoke for or against the proposed city tax rate change, the Bardstown City Council gave its final approval of the new — and lower — city property tax rate.

The council unanimously approved lowering the tax rate from 18.2 cents to 17.9 cents per $100 in value for both real estate and personal property.

Due to a substantial increase in the assessed values of property and new building construction, the lower rate still will generate nearly 4 percent more tax revenue over the 2017 tax rate.

ARTS, CRAFTS FESTIVAL: BROADWAY CLOSED?  The council received a request from Bardstown Main Street to close the usual streets for the 37th Annual Arts, Crafts & Antique Fair — plus the closure of a new street.

The request included the closure of the half block of West Broadway between Fourth Street and the alley next to American Legion Post 121 at 206 West Broadway. The new street closure request raised the eyebrows of a number of the council.

Councilman Bill Sheckles said that any closure of West Broadway would result “in a cluster.” West Broadway handles significant amounts of traffic during the Arts and Crafts Fair, and closing any portion of it will create confusion and snarl traffic, he said.

Greg Ashworth, the city’s HR Director, said the festival was making its booths larger this year, from 10×10 feet square to 15 x 10 feet, and he suggested perhaps the festival was seeking additional space for more booths.

Most of the council voiced concerns about closing West Broadway for the festival. After discussing simply tabling Main Street’s request, the council went ahead and approved all of the requested street closures with the exception of closing West Broadway.

Ashworth told the council he was attending a meeting with the group and would gather more information about their request to close West Broadway.

In other business, the council:

— approved a municipal order that updated job descriptions for some city employees.

— gave final approval to the city’s classification and compensation plan.

— gave final approval of a zoning regulation change that will allow the placement of double-wide mobile homes in a manufactured home subdivision in the city limits.

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