GRAYSON – Grayson city council took action during their regular meeting last Tuesday to approve the placement of speed bumps along Bradford Street, and to appoint Veronica Thomas to the Library Board as a trustee, but it was the budget that drew the most discussion.
Though the budget wasn't on the agenda, Councilman Derrick McKinney took the opportunity of the fire department report to ask chief Greg Felty about his department's spending. Specifically, McKinney had questions about a line item for bunker gear and air packs that placed the department $11,272 in the red.
He asked the chief why this money was spent after council had told the department, in previous meetings, that they would need to cut their budget.
Before Felty could answer, however, Mayor George Steele chimed in to take responsibility for the spending.
“Some things are essential,” Steele told McKinney, explaining the supplies were “needed” and that he had told Felty to purchase them and that the city would find other areas to cut to make up the difference.
It isn't the only place where the city is over budget, though. The numbers distributed at the meeting show that the city is currently in the red for equipment maintenance, training, payroll, cemetery mowing, advertising and legal notices required by law and other areas. This includes an expected $147,127 for new vehicles.
Felty explained that not only did his department need new vehicles, but that they were experiencing issues with an existing vehicle that might need maintenance and repair.
McKinney, though, said he had grave concerns about the fiscal management of the city.
“I'm just worried about this budget,” McKinney said. “We're just a couple of months in and already several thousand dollars in the red.”
On the speed bump issue, council initially considered tabling the motion until they could follow up with residents requesting speed bumps along Bradford Street. After discussion, however, they chose to edit the suggested layout, removing one of the three requested speed bumps from the middle of the configuration, and approving installation of the other two speed bumps.
Councilman Duane Suttles, who stated he was opposed to the use of speed bumps for various reasons, expressed concern that the petitioners didn't follow the city's ordinance for requesting speed bumps. Specifically, Suttles said, some of the signatories of the petition lived on a portion of the street that would not be impacted by the speed bumps. In addition, he said, there were no signatures from folks living along Townsend, all of whom will be impacted by speed bumps on Bradford as it is the only way in and out.
City attorney Jason Greer, however, said that there was nothing in the ordinances about collecting signatures from all impacted streets. It only states a percentage of those impacted must sign the petition, and it appeared as though they had sufficient signatures to meet that mark.
Council passed the measure unanimously after agreeing to remove one of the three requested speed bumps.
Council also passed a motion endorsing a resolution by the utility commission to refinance their bond payments with Kentucky Bond Corporation, a move that is expected to save the entity around $294,000 over the life of the bond.
Council also entered into the first reading of an ordinance amendment, setting the membership of the Board of Adjustment to three members.
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