CITY OF PROSPECT
July 16, 2012]
(A complete transcript of this meeting is available at City Hall and on the City’s Web Site, http://www.prospectky.com)
Present: Mayor Todd Eberle; Council Members Loretta Ertel, Stuart Miles, Sandra Leonard, Mike Scott, Alan Simon, and Sandy Tucci; City Administrator Ann Simms; City Attorney Grover Potts; Police Chief Jeff Sherrard; Police Lieutenant Todd Shaw; Recording Secretary Holly LeVold; Court Reporter Rose Mary Kithcart.
Mayor Eberle called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.
APPROVAL OF MINUTES:
Council Member Alan Simon moved approval of the minutes of the regular City Council Meeting of June 18, 2012; Council Member Sandy Tucci seconded; passed unanimously.
GUEST CANDIDATE FOR PUBLIC OFFICE:
Louisville Metro Council Candidate Tim Martin introduced himself to the members of the Council and others present. He is running as a Candidate for the 16th District Metro Council Seat in the November 6th General Election. Mr. Martin reviewed his background and noted his interest in serving suburban cities through a seat on Metro Council.
Mayor Eberle introduced Steve Emly, Interim Director of Engineering for the Metropolitan Sewer District, to provide an update on current activities and plans for the Force Main Sewer Project involving the removal of five sewage treatment plants in the area including the force main through Harrods Creek Park in Prospect. He noted that seven different contracts are involved in the construction of the Force Main Project and that the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) is obligated under a federal consent decree to have the Project completed by the end of 2015. The Force Main Project is part of MSD’s “Waterways Improvement Now” (Project WIN) program which is designed to eliminate sanitary sewer overflows and minimize combined sewer overflows in the region. Information on and updates regarding that program’s activities can be obtained through a link on the home page of MSD’s web site at www.msdlouky.org . Activity involving the Force Main Project through Prospect will be conducted through three construction access points in the city, one of which is the MSD treatment plant access road off of Montero Drive in the Hunting Creek neighborhood. Mr. Emly also noted that MSD is working with the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources to avoid disturbance of the heron rookery located on Harrods Creek near where the Force Main Project crosses under the creek. A construction work schedule for that area is being established to avoid the area during nesting season. Discussion followed with comments and questions from members of the City Council as well as members of the general public.
Financial Report: Mayor Eberle reported that the accountant’s monthly financial update for the end of June 2012 reflect 98.5% of budgeted revenues received and 93.7% of budgeted expenses disbursed. The end-of-year figures will be adjusted after the 2011-2012 fiscal year audit is conducted.
Fourth of July Celebration: Mayor Eberle thanked Council Member Alan Simon for serving as Chair of the City’s 4th of July event again this year and, in the Mayor’s absence, serving as Grand Marshall for Independence Day Parade which was a great success. Mayor Eberle then asked City Administrator Ann Simms to report on fireworks and other activities. She reported that the City had met with officials of the Hunting Creek Country Club on Monday, July 2nd and concerns were expressed about the extremely dry conditions. The Harrods Creek Fire Department was contacted and they noted that while very concerned with private individual’s fireworks resulting in fires they would not prohibit the public display. The Department noted they could not get a pump truck onto the site to water down the area, but that the City’s display was being conducted by a professional pyrotechnics contractor and the Department felt the contractor would take all necessary safety precautions to prevent fires. On the afternoon of the 4th, the pyrotechnics contractor arrived at the site and expressed grave concern to the City and the Country Club over the dry conditions noting that sparks from the display could result in a grass fire which would be difficult to control. The City again contacted the Fire Department and Country Club about the pyrotechnics contractor’s concerns. The contract with the pyrotechnics provider allowed that the display could be cancelled at the call of the provider if “unsafe weather conditions” imposed a danger. After again consulting with all involved it was decided to accept the recommendation of the pyrotechnics contractor to cancel the display scheduled for 9:45 p.m. that evening. The decision to announce the cancellation of the fireworks was difficult, but the contract also provided for a possible rescheduling of the display. At 6:30 p.m. an e-mail blast was sent from City Hall via “City Mail” advising that the display had to be cancelled due to adverse weather conditions. It is hoped that arrangements can be made for the fireworks to be rescheduled for later in the summer.
Cowley Park Concerts: Mayor Eberle announced that the second of the Cowley Park Summer Concerts will feature the Louisville-area jazz band The Matt McClimon Group on Sunday, September 23rd from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
Forestation Board Update: Mayor Eberle asked Chair of the Prospect Forestation Board, Lee Tucci for a report. Mr. Tucci noted that the large beech tree at the entrance to the Hunting Creek neighborhood has been removed. The stump will be taken out in the next few days. There will be soil restoration and grass seeding done before a new tree is planted this fall. Replacement trees being considered include elm, tulip poplar, sycamore and northern red oak. The Board is also working on the planting of other additional trees on city-owned land this fall. Mr. Tucci reviewed tree removal and replacement aspects of the Metropolitan Sewer District Force Main Project as it relates to Prospect’s Harrods Creek Park. Once the Project is complete the Board will be working with the Kentucky Division of Forestry on planting more desirable, high value trees in the Park. Mr. Tucci also noted the Forestation Board is conducting a re-survey of all public area trees in the City. The initial inventory was conducted four years ago. The re-inventory will update the location, species, size and condition of trees along street right of ways, medians and islands as well as at City Hall and trees in both Cowley Park and Little Hunting Creek Park. The work is being conducted by citizen volunteers including Brandy Colton, Randy & Pat Holub, Paul & Carol McAllister, and Jane Williams as well as Forestation Board Members Linda Knox, Christina Kramer and Catherine Wallace.
Parks and Recreation: Mayor Eberle asked Chair of the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Linda Wardell for a report on recent activities. Two new Eagle Scout Projects are being planned, one being an informational kiosk at Harrods Creek Park and the other being a boardwalk through a marshy area in Little Hunting Creek Park. Work continues on the Final Resource Management Plan for Putney Pond and Woodlands to be submitted to the Kentucky Heritage Land Conservation Fund.
Library: Mayor Eberle advised that a water leak stemming from an air conditioning system malfunction had caused ceiling and wall damage in the library as well as an area on the first floor of City Hall. No books were damaged in the library, but dry wall will have to be replaced.
State’s Proposal to Widen U.S. Highway 42: Mayor Eberle gave an update on the proposed widening of U.S. Highway 42 through the Village Center of the city running from east of the Harrods Creek Bridge to just east of the River Road intersection. The current State Transportation Cabinet proposal takes all of the right-of-way from the south side of the highway destroying large numbers of mature trees including the elimination of a substantial portion of the trees and land in Little Hunting Creek Park. A copy of current plans for the proposal is available for viewing at City Hall and an article on the proposal will be published in the July Prospect Newsletter. Immediately upon learning of the proposal Mayor Eberle expressed written concern with the plan and the dramatic effect it would have on our community to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, our State Representative Bob DeWesse, our State Senator and Chair of the State Senate Transportation Committee Ernie Harris, and Metro Councilman Kelly Downard. Representative DeWeese and Senator Harris responded and advised that they understand our concerns and are willing to assist us in having the proposal reconsidered. It is hoped they can arrange a meeting between the City and Transportation Cabinet officials in the near future. Mayor Eberle urged members of City Council and all Prospect residents to contact Representative DeWeese, Senator Harris, Councilman Downard and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet regarding the proposal and possible alternatives.
New Part-Time Police Officer: Mayor Eberle expressed recent pleasure at being able to swear in John Stephen Hardy as a part-time Prospect Police Officer. Steve is retired from the Louisville Metro Police Department and as a part-time officer will add valuable law enforcement experience as well as flexibility in shift scheduling for the Department.
Chief Jeff Sherrard echoed the Mayor’s pleasure with the hiring of the new part-time police officer and noted that Officer Hardy has twenty-eight year’s experience in law enforcement including service with Kentucky State Police, the City of Jeffersontown, the Jefferson County Police and, after city county merger, with the Louisville Metro Police Department where he retired with the rank of Sergeant from the Professional Standards Unit.
Chief Sherrard then gave the monthly police report. Citations are up this month in part due to multiple charges relating to graffiti arrests of juveniles. Traffic enforcement statistics were up due to increased enforcement on U.S. Highway 42 and Hunting Creek Boulevard. Dispatched runs were up 17% and officer initiated runs were up 19%. One incident involved a maintenance structure break-in at Hunting Creek Country Club. Felony arrests were made in connection with a home invasion incident which was handled by Lieutenant Todd Shaw and Officer Harold Proffitt. They responded in approximately two minutes and found the perpetrators still in the home. The offenders remained inside but released the homeowner. They surrendered after negotiations with Prospect police officers. They were charged with kidnapping, robbery and assault, are in custody and have been bound over to the Grand Jury. Chief Sherrard issued a written commendation for Lieutenant Shaw and Officer Proffitt to recognize their quick response and professional handling of the situation. Lieutenant Todd Shaw reported that the police department is switching over the digital Kentucky Based Incident Reporting System (KYIBRS) and that Prospect’s incident reports should be fully computerized within a year.
The Prospect Code Enforcement Board met on June 27th upholding a citation for excessively tall grass at a residence.
CITIZEN AND PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mayor Eberle opened the floor to citizen and public comment. A resident expressed appreciation to all who had worked on the establishment of and improvements to city parks in recent years, noting that it dictated their decision to remain in Prospect when looking to move into a smaller home. A resident suggested that the City Council consider an ordinance banning all use of private fireworks in the city. A resident commended the Prospect Forestation Board and its Chair Lee Tucci for conducting the re-inventory of the approximately 1,700 street and park trees in the city. A resident inquired as to the number of trees which would be removed under the currently proposed widening of U.S. Highway 42. A resident inquired about removal of dead trees and shrubs on the Hunting Creek Boulevard median. It was noted that the shrubs and a dying silver maple tree were scheduled for removal within the next several weeks.
Council Member Simon gave second reading to Ordinance No.521, Series 2012, AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CODE OF ORDINANCES OF THE CITY OF PROSPECT CONCERNING ELIGIBILITY TO HOLD THE OFFICE OF MAYOR AND CITY COUNCIL MEMBER. The ordinance lowers the age qualification for Mayor to 21 years of age and the age qualification for City Council Member to 18 years of age. The ordinance passed unanimously on a roll call vote.
Council Member Sandy Tucci suggested that the City Council take a look at previously suggested
amendments to Prospect’s land development and building code requirements for large tracts of land within the city in order to restrict the removal of large trees during development. Council Member Stuart Miles noted that he had worked with the City Attorney and the Prospect Forestation Board on such an ordinance in the past and had conducted some research on other city’s ordinances restricting the removal of significant trees during development. Mayor Eberle noted that Louisville Metro Government is currently reviewing their county-wide regulations which relate to regulating the removal of trees during land development. This effort is being conducted in conjunction with an overall review of the Louisville Metro Land Development Code and has the participation of representatives from the Jefferson County League of Cities.
There being no further action to come before the Council, Council Member Loretta Ertel moved to adjourn. Council Member Alan Simon seconded. Motion passed unanimously on a voice vote. Mayor Eberle declared the meeting adjourned 9:14 p.m.
Todd B. Eberle
Ann R. Simms