Fort Jefferson Grant Project future Welcome Center building contains mold
Wickliffe – During the recent meeting of the Wickliffe City Council,council member David Phillips informed the other members and Mayor Lynn Hopkins that the building at Fort Jefferson is full of mold. Phillips recommended the Council rewrite the Fort Jefferson Grant and request a year extension. Phillips cited the mold as the reason for the rewrite.
Under old business, the Main Street project is progressing. The conduit has been placed on the Corner Cafe and Attorney Dan Thomas side of Fourth St. as well as the Courthouse side. There will be four lights on the Corner Cafe side and five on the Courthouse side. Two lights will be on the pharmacy side of Court St. The Council members discussed placing several more street lights on the pharmacy side of Court St. heading towards Hillbilly Cafe.
Bill Byrd representing Clayton, Byrd and Meeks presented to the Council members the Annual Audit for Fiscal year ending June 30, 2013.
Mark Davis of Purchase Area Development District (PADD) updated the new well loan application that will be submitted to the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA). On another note, Davis said that the new lift station is on the list for state involvement fund money and is eligible right now.
Under new business, Hopkins discussed changing the City Council to a City Commission form of government. Under a Commission form of government, there would only be four city commissioners and the mayor, all having the same voting power. As opposed to a Commission, a City Council consists of six council members and the mayor. Concerning this issue, Hopkins had requested the presence of Ballard County Clerk Lynn Lane at the meeting to answer questions. Regarding the Commission form of government, Lane said, “This would prevent a mayor firing people on his own.” Lane continued by saying that the change of government would have to be placed on the ballot in the November election. Hopkins cited one reason for the change as being the difficulty in the past to get candidates who are not working to run for city council.
The council went into closed session to discuss salary and wage increases for the city employees and discuss the hiring of a new city attorney, Ryan Toombs, since the resignation of Bethany Denton.
According to Hopkins, in closed session, the Mayor and Council met with attorney Ryan Toombs of Barlow, Kentucky, in interview for the City of Wickliffe's Attorney position. The prior attorney, Bethany Denton, resigned her position as city attorney in December 2013 per Hopkins. Mrs. Denton was associated with Neely, Brien, and Wilson, Mayfield, Kentucky law offices in Mayfield as City Attorney in prior years, and then served 2013, as an independent lawyer employed by the City of Wickliffe through 2013.
Hopkins said Attorney Ryan Toombs is also an associate of the Law Office of Neely, Brien, and Wilson located in Mayfield, Kentucky. He will be contracted by the City of Wickliffe as the City Attorney to replace Attorney Denton said Hopkins. Toombs attended Ballard Memorial High School, and obtained his BA degree in Journalism and Political Science in May of 2006 with the honors of Summa Cum Laude. His Law Degree was conferred to him by the University Of Kentucky College Of Law, in Lexington, Ky., as Juris Doctor, in May 2009, according to Hopkins. Toombs’ firm also represents the City of Mayfield; the council voted to appoint Attorney Toombs to the City Attorney position effective February 4, 2014. Attorney Toombs’ parents are Ronnie and June Ann Toombs of Barlow, Kentucky.
According to Hopkins, other business discussed during closed session included salary and wage increases for city employees. The city has two part-time employees; Ashley Goode serves as part-time clerk assisting City Clerk Bethany Cain, and Jerry Groff serves as a part-time maintenance laborer.
Full-time employees are Guy Johnson, Sam Dennis, and Bethany Cain. Johnson serves as Superintendent over the water system and waste water systems as well as city maintenance operations. Sam Dennis serves as Maintenance Foreman; he assists Superintendent Johnson in maintenance and sewer repairs and other city clean-up and maintenance issues. Bethany Cain serves as City Clerk and Treasurer.
Per Hopkins, the Kentucky League of Cities provides a salary schedule based on a survey from cities by population that is used to discuss Wickliffe salaries for city employees. Council members and the Mayor's fees will not change and have been the same for some years.
The next Wickliffe City Council meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 4, 2014.