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 May 21, 2012; Council Member Loretta Ertel seconded; passed unanimously.
Mayor Eberle introduced Police Lieutenant James Todd Shaw who was recently selected from a list of very qualified candidates to serve as the police department’s second-in-command. Lt. Shaw has a Bachelors of Science degree in Police Administration from Eastern Kentucky University and graduate school credits toward a Masters Degree in Criminal Justice. He has served with the police department with the City of Huntsville, Alabama, with the Kentucky State Police, with the Jefferson County Police prior to merger and later with the Louisville Metro Police Department (LMPD) after merger. He retired from LMPD in 2009 with the rank of Sergeant and has had extensive supervisory experience during his over twenty years in law enforcement. He replaces the recently retired Lieutenant Dennis Wine. Lieutenant Shaw noted he was beginning his third week on duty and expressed his pleasure in joining the department.
Financial Report: Mayor Eberle reported that cash basis accounting reports reflect 93.8% of budgeted revenues received and 86.7% of expenses disbursed at the end of eleven months into the fiscal year.
Fourth of July Celebration: Mayor Eberle announced that Council Member Alan Simon will be this year’s Grand Marshal for the city’s Fourth of July Celebration in the Mayor’s necessary absence. The fireworks have returned for the 2012 event. This year will mark the 19th Fourth of July Celebration in Prospect and Council Member Simon has chaired the planning committee for the event each year.
Forestation Board Update: Mayor Eberle recognized Lee Tucci, Chair of the Prospect Forestation Board. Mr. Tucci noted the Board approved removal of the large beech tree at the entrance to the Hunting Creek neighborhood as it has been declining for several years. A replacement tree will be selected and planted this fall. Work on tree removals and replantings will also take place along Hunting Creek Boulevard in the coming months. The Forestation Board has begun its re-inventory of the city’s roughly 1700 public trees along streets as well as in medians and islands throughout the city. In updating the inventory the Board will be assessing trees for problem locations, changes in condition and other issues.
Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Update: Mayor Eberle noted that the Saturday, June 2nd Trails Open House at Harrods Creek Park was a clear success and thanked the volunteers who assisted with the event. He recognized Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee Chair Linda Wardell for a report on recent activities. She stated that 72 people took advantage of the Trails Open House and that eighteen volunteers were on hand give tours, point out highlights, advise of park usage rules and explain the upcoming construction activities of the Metropolitan Sewer District in the construction of the Force Main Project which will involve removal of the sewage treatment plant at the park. Reactions of visitors to the trails were uniformly positive. She also noted the Parks and Recreation Committee’s work with Eagle Scout candidate Nick Medley of local Troop 30 who has completed construction of five park benches. Scouts from Troop 30 have installed the benches at key locations in both Harrods Creek Park and Little Hunting Creek Park.
Library Committee Update: Council Member Sandra Leonard, Liaison to the Library Committee, reported that the remaining books from the Spring Library Book Sale are continuing to be sold in the library at half-price. Proceeds from the sale will go toward the purchase of books and other library media for the permanent collection. Volunteer hours for the sale were counted in Metro Mayor Greg Fischer’s “Give A Day” campaign to encourage and record volunteer efforts in the Louisville Metro area. Donations for the Fall Book Sale have already begun to arrive. The fall sale will take place October 18th and 19th.
Police Chief Jeff Sherrard gave the police report. He noted that the grant for safety vests is funded through the Kentucky State Police where police departments throughout the state sell confiscated weapons and other property to fund grants each year. Chief Sherrard reported last month’s citations totals were roughly the same as for May 2011. Accident reports were down slightly from the previous year. Other incidents included a jewelry theft by a contractor working in the home, two graffiti incidents, an incident involving a stolen credit card and paycheck, and three DUI arrests. Chief Sherrard announced an over haul of the departments reporting policies. He hopes to have an updated, more user friendly and accurate reporting system in place soon. Code Enforcement activities included a citation issued for failure to mow tall grass in the Wythe Hill Circle area. The homeowner has not responded and the case will come before the Code Enforcement Board at their June 27th meeting. Finally, Chief Sherrard noted that recently retired Police Officer Larry Johnson would be returning to work on a part-time basis and an additional part-time officer is being considered to work in the now vacant position. The part-time positions offer more flexibility in scheduling as well as save on personnel costs for the City.
Mayor Eberle opened the floor to citizen comment. Several residents who live in the Star Point Court area addressed increased activity on the hiking trails at the City’s Harrods Creek Park which adjoins their property. They expressed concerns about trespass through their properties to access Harrods Creek Park, additional foot traffic, protection of wildlife, rules of use for the park, enforcement of those rules, and the effect of the Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD) Force Main Project construction on park lands. Mayor Eberle responded to many of the questions and noted that a representative from MSD had agreed to attend the July City Council Meeting to address concerns from citizens about what can be expected with the upcoming construction project. A resident expressed appreciation to the City, the Parks and Recreation Advisory Committee, local Boy Scouts and the numerous volunteers who have contributed to improvement of the city’s park areas.
Two residents voiced concern about the condition, maintenance and appearance of a property in the 6400 block of Gunpowder Lane. Police Chief Sherrard noted that he was aware of the property and the Police Department had addressed illegal parking at the address on several occasions. It was suggested that the City Council consider amendments to the city’s nuisance ordinance to place more strict regulations on upkeep of properties.
Several residents commented on the proposed 2012-2013 fiscal year budget both from the revenue side as well as the expenditure side including raises for city employees. Discussion followed among members of the Council.
Council Member Simon gave second reading to Ordinance No. 518, Series 2012, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A BUDGET FOR THE GENERAL FUND OF THE CITY OF PROSPECT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 2012 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2013. Council Members Mike Scott and Sandra Leonard expressed concerns over the direction both revenues and expenditures have been taking in recent years. Discussion followed among all Council Members present. No amendments were offered. A roll call vote was taken with Council Members Loretta Ertel, Alan Simon and Sandra Tucci voting yes and Sandra Leonard and Mike Scott voting no. Ordinance No. 518, Series 2012 was passed on final reading.
Council Member Tucci gave second reading to Ordinance No. 519, Series 2012, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING A BUDGET FOR THE MUNICIPAL ROAD AID FUND OF THE CITY OF PROSPECT FOR THE FISCAL YEAR BEGINNING JULY 1, 2012 AND ENDING JUNE 30, 2013. A roll call vote was taken with all Council Members voting in favor. Ordinance No. 519, Series 2012 was passed on final reading.
Council Member Ertel gave second reading to Ordinance No. 520, Series 2012, AN ORDINANCE ESTABLISHING AN AD VALOREM TAX RATE FOR THE CITY OF PROSPECT. A roll call vote was taken with all Council Members voting in favor. Ordinance No. 520, Series 2012 was passed on final reading.
Council Member Simon gave first 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.
Todd B. Eberle