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Council questions Friday street closure request for Main Street Halloween event

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018 — Bardstown Main Street’s proposal to close the first two blocks of North Third Street and sections of both East and West Flaget Avenue early in the day on Friday, Oct. 26, 2018, for a kids’ Halloween event has been met with opposition from some downtown businesses.

The request from Main Street to the City of Bardstown asks to close the streets at 2 p.m. that day in preparation for the kids treat-or-treat event and other activities.

Randi Mouser, executive director of Bardstown Main Street, discusses plans to close the first two blocks of North Third Street on a Friday afternoon for a Halloween event.

Randi Mouser, the Main Street executive director, said the trick-or-treating activities usually begin after school, and closing the streets at 2 p.m. was in order to get them clear in time for the Halloween activities.

“The safety of the children is the whole reason behind wanting the road closed,” she told the council.

Mayor Dick Heaton said he had gotten calls from downtown businesses voicing concern about the street closures’ impact on Friday afternoon traffic, which is usually congested most weekdays when schools dismiss — and even more so on Friday afternoons.

Heaton said that to him, “closing those two blocks (of North Third Street) down at that time of day is going to create a major problem.”

Assistant Chief Joe Seelye agreed that shutting down North Third would cause substantial traffic problems.

“If you shut that down you’re going to create a tremendous domino effect,” he said.

Seelye suggested having signs to let motorists know of an event ongoing in downtown, and to have people in place at Flaget and North Third to assist children with safely crossing the from one side of Third to the other.

Rather that approve the request, Heaton suggested the council delay taking action in order to have more time to work out a plan that will allow traffic to flow without shutting down North Third Street on a busy Friday afternoon.

LIGHT UP BARDSTOWN. The council reviewed Bardstown Main Street’s road closure request for the annual Light Up Bardstown on Friday, Nov. 23, 2018. The closure requests are the same as in years past, and include approximately half of the court square, the 100 block of North Third Street, and West Flaget Avenue. The council unanimously approved the request.

SIDEWALK REGULATIONS. The council discussed amending the subdivision regulations regarding sidewalks in the city limits.

City Attorney Tim Butler said that a change would require new developments to include sidewalks in their design.

With the addition of the planned multipurpose path from Bloomfield Road to the area near the West John Rowan Subway restaurant, the city is seeing renewed interest in connections for walking paths and sidewalks. Its a growing trend that is not supported by the existing subdivision regulations.

Planning Director Jan Johnston-Crowe brought the issue to the city council to get their thoughts on changing the regulations.

Currently, a waiver allowing developments without sidewalks is automatic; the change would allow waivers only on request of the developer and the approval of the planning commission.

The planning commission approves changes to subdivision regulations. Any change to the sidewalk requirements for future developments would require a public hearing prior to approval by the commission.

The council voted to recommend the planning commission to consider making the change to the subdivision regulation regarding sidewalks in the city.

FINAL APPROVAL ON SRO POSITION. Without a great deal of discussion, the council unanimously approved amending the city’s classification and compensation plan to add the School Resource Officer to the city police department.

The city and Bardstown Independent Schools have already signed an agreement that have the school district pay approximately 3/4 of the cost of adding the School Resource Officer. An existing officer will be considered for the SRO position, Police Chief Kim Kraeszig told the council at its meeting last month.

FIRE DOG UPDATE. Oreo the Fire Dog visited with the Bardstown City Council Tuesday while Fire Chief Billy Mattingly provided an update on dog’s latest public appearances.

The dalmatian puppy has grown considerably since she was introduced to the public in June. Mattingly said turned six-months old on Monday.

October is Fire Prevention Month, and Oreo will have a busy schedule before the public, he said.

Mattingly and Oreo recently visited a group of with school children who were asked about what they should do if their clothes catch on fire. Oreo showed the class how to “stop, drop and roll,” he said. Oreo repeated the performance in front of the council members.

Oreo will be undergoing more training in upcoming months, he said.

NEXT UP. The council next meets at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018, in the City Council chambers next to the Rec Center on Xavier Avenue.

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