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Bardstown council honors Watts, approves Elm Grove zoning change request

The Bardstown City Council honors the Dawsons for their partinership in the Blessing Box program. From left, Councilwoman Betty Kelley Hart,, Mayor Dick Heaton, Celeste Dawson, Peter Dawson and Councilman Frankie Hibbs.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, July 12, 2022 — The Bardstown City Council approved a resolution Tuesday night declaring that July 31, 2022 will be Judge Executive Dean Watts Day.

Mayor Dick Heaton said the he and the council wanted to honor Watts’ many years of service as an elected official. In addition to serving in his elected office, Watts has been part of numerous organizations and had membership in a wide range of boards and chairtable organizations.

Watts, elected in 1994, is the longest-serving judge executive in the county’s history, Heaton noted.

SAVE A LOT OWNERS HONORED. The council presented Peter and Celeste Dawson, the owners of the local Save A Lot store, with a plaque to honor the couple for their continued commitment to the Bardstown Blessing Box program.

The Blessing Box program features boxes placed in strategic areas of town, each stocked with a changing variety of donations and foodstuff. Those who are in need are free to take what they need; those who are blessed and can share their blessings can do so.

The Dawsons have supported the Blessing Box effort since Councilwoman Betty Kelley Hart and Councilman Frankie Hibbs began working on it. Since the program’s launch, the Dawsons have offered their store customers pre-packaged bags of groceries available for purchase at given price points. The bags of groceries are then picked up and placed in one of the community’s Blessing Boxes.

Since the Blessing Box program began, the Dawson’s customers donated more than $7,500 in groceries.

Councilman Hibbs told the Dawsons that he didn’t believe the Blessing Box program would have been as successful as it has been without their help.

Celeste Dawson said the store’s customers are responsible for the program’s success. “We have customers who come in each week and buy a bag every time the visit,” Dawson said.

ELM GROVE ZONE CHANGE. The city council was asked to review a zoning change request that the joint city-county planning commission had denied for a property at 112 South Elm Grove.

The request to change the zoning from P-1 Professional Office District to B-3 Business was denied at the commission’s April 26, 2022 meeting.

The council spent more than 25 minutes asking questions and discussing the particulars of the request with commission Director Jan Johnston-Crowe. The council overturned the commission’s denial, and approved the zoning change to B-3 without any restrictions or conditions.

In other business, the council:

— approved a bid of $127.86 per ton for road salt. The bid was part a process by the Kentucky Association of Counties. The city will buy up to 450 tons of salt for a total cost of $57,537.

The price of salt was substantially higher than the $90.99 per ton cost of salt in 2021.

— approved a donation request of $7,500 to the Old Bardstown Village. According to the application, the funds will be used for mowing, fence repairs and other outside maintenance.

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