Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Providence considers fireworks ordinance, sets tax rate for 2015

J-E Reporter

The Providence City Council met Monday night with all members in attendance.  Mayor Eddie Gooch opened by asking City Attorney Richard Peyton to provide the first reading of Ordinance 2015-6 which will cover the use, sale and display of fireworks within the city.  As Peyton summarized the ordinance, some of the key points identified were: 

•All provisions will be within compliance with KRS rules
•Persons may use fireworks between the hours of 10:00 A.M. and 10:00 P.M. only
•Must be used only by people aged 18 and over
•Annual fee to vendors for the sale of fireworks will be set at $300.00 per location

Councilman Tom Skinner volunteered to sponsor the ordinance.  However, when Mayor Gooch polled the council regarding their agreement, Councilman Doug Hammers immediately voiced his objection.  Primarily, he doesn’t believe it is fair to charge vendors for providing a service to the citizens.  His preference would be to more strongly enforce a noise ordinance that is already in place. 

Hammers stressed his opinion that this ordinance takes freedom away from the very people who are celebrating freedom. 

Gooch’s response was that he recognized Hammers’ opinion, but that the council had to also consider the rights and freedoms of other citizens against nuisance behavior when people use fireworks throughout late night and into the early morning hours.  The council did agree to a minor adjustment regarding the hour of day limit, which will be amended and presented in its final form at the next meeting.

Gooch next went on to introduce the second reading of ordinance 2015-7 “Establishing Property Tax Rate for tax year 2015”, which shall be .50 cents for each $100.00 of assessed valuation of real property; .50 cents for each $100.00 of personal property (does not include business inventory), and  .00 for business inventory.  The motion carried.

In old business, Mayor Gooch again commended the local food bank on achieving their recent milestone of $1,000,000 in goods distributed. Also, Clerk Kay Travis noted that the city placed a bid for a police cruiser that was declared surplus property from the city of Earlington, and was awarded the bid. 

And last, Councilwoman Dolores Overby shared the frustrations of the volunteers from the Code Enforcement Board in that it appears that up to 70% of the worst violators of neglecting to maintain their properties, are repeat offenders.

Overby stated that the city is continuously paying for the neglect of others, and she felt that the city was under public scrutiny for not addressing these issues. 

Mayor Gooch reminded her that the council only recently passed a new ordinance outlining the penalties for neglecting property upkeep.  He also added that over the last few years, the city has made tremendous strides in correcting such problems, despite having limited funds to do so.  He praised the work of the Code Enforcement Board and understands their frustration when faced with residents who simply don’t care.  One of the ideas discussed was the possibility of using social media such as Facebook to post photos of the neglected properties in an effort to prompt people to take more pride in their neighborhoods.  Ms. Overby did not expect a resolution at this meeting, but she did want the council to be aware that the problem continues and that she felt it is important for the council to assist the Enforcement Board in carrying out their duties.

The meeting was then adjourned, with the next one scheduled for Monday, September 7th.

1 comment: