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Mayor offers COVID-19 update at special televised Bardstown council meeting

The Bardstown City Council met using social distancing guidelines Tuesday night. The meeting was televised and the media and members of the public were prohibited.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, March 24, 2020, 11 p.m. — The Bardstown City Council held a special meeting Tuesday night that due to the threat of the Coronavirus was televised on the city’s cable TV system.

The special meeting was conducted under the provisions of decision of the Kentucky Attorney General that allowed the city not to provide for a public audience due to the contagious nature of the Coronavirus.

Mayor Dick Heaton opened the meeting with a update on the recent changes and emergency orders from city and county government in the wake of efforts to limit the spread of the virus.

The council met in its usual meeting room adjacent to the Bardstown Rec Center, though the council members sat spaced apart to meeting the current social distancing guidelines. And to keep in line with the guideline to limit gathers to 10 people or less, the council brought staff into the room individually so to not exceed the limit.

FIRE STATION ROOF. The council discussed at length the three bids to replace part of the roof of the former Newcomb Oil office building on KY 245 that will be the city’s new main fire station.

Two of the three bids both were about $35,000, while the third was nearly $10,000 cheaper. After discussing the differences between the bids, the council approved the low bid of $27,000 from Unlimited Restorations of Louisville.

DONATION REQUESTS. The council agreed to two donation requests at Tuesday night’s meeting.

AFRICAN AMERICAN HERITAGE. The council approved a $2,500 request form the Bardstown/Nelson County African American Heritage Museum. The grant will be used to build five 4×8-foot and two 4×6-foot display cases.

The cases will be used showcase and highlight the accomplishments of black Nelson County residents and their contributions to the community through history.

OLD BARDSTOWN VILLAGE. The Old Bardstown Village request was for a $10,000 donation to help the village with its general expenses.

According to the council’s discussion, the village needs the funds to cover its insurance and utilities.

According to Councilwoman Betty Hart, the village had 10,000 visitors in 2018. She said the economic impact of those visitors was considerable, and the donation would help allow the village to re-open this year.

The council discussed splitting the donation between the current fiscal year and the 2020-21 fiscal year. In the end, the council voted to grant the donation request.

UTILITY SERVICE REQUESTS. The council approved a request for a sewer extension to serve Brashear Condominiums, a group of condos which will be built in the lots where homes were recently razed on the north side of West Brashear Ave. The condominiums will have nine units, according to the application.

City engineer Jessica Filiatreau said more condos are planned for the area where homes were razed on the south side of West Brashear.

The council also agreed to provide sewer service to Mainstream Subdivision which will be located at the end of Riggs Boulevard in the cul-de-sac.

OCCUPATIONAL TAX DISCUSSION. Chief Financial Officer Aaron Boles told the council that the city’s occupational tax revenue will likely see a drop in the wake of the shutdowns related to the Coronavirus.

The city has collected to date $4.3 million of the $5 million in occupational tax revenue anticipated for the current fiscal year.

Heaton told the council that the city has saved approximately $100,000 by delaying some expenditures until the next fiscal year.

Businesses will have a 30-day extension on their next occupational tax filings, Boles reported.

FMLA MUNICIPAL ORDER. The council approved a municipal order that changes the City of Bardstown’s leave policies in the wake of the federal Families First Coronavirus Relief Act.

The order provides two weeks of paid time off for those who need to care for a family member in the wake of the Coronavirus or care for a child due to the closure of child care facilities.

The order also gives 12 weeks of emergency FMLA, and protects employee’s jobs with the city. The order is set to expire at the same time as the Families First Coronavirus Relief Act on Dec. 31, 2020.

In other business, the council:

— approved a utility relocation cost agreement regarding improvements that will take place between the intersection of KY 245 and US150 and Parkway Drive.

— approved a service contract with Kentucky Engineering Group for its work on the city wastewater treatment disinfection work. The fees associated with the contract total $61,000.

— approved awarding a bid for cable TV construction services to Hutchins Telecom.

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