The Mayfield City Council passed the city's budget on first reading Monday, took initial steps to appoint a new city council member and expressed concerns about an intersection where a recent wreck claimed a life.
The council began its meeting with Mayor Kathy O'Nan reading a short tribute to the late councilman Wayne Potts, who died Saturday. The council also held a moment of silence in his honor.
During the meeting, Potts' chair at the council table remained empty, and a red and black ribbon was draped across the back.
City attorney Dennis Null guided the council in how to replace Potts' successor. The council must appoint someone within 30 days. If it fails to do so, the governor picks his successor, Null said. The decision belongs to the council, and the mayor only votes in the event of a tie.
"We're certainly not trying to be insensitive in any way discussing this tonight, but we sort of have to do this," councilwoman Jana Adams said.
The council determined anyone interested in the position may drop off a resume by the close of business May 23 at City Hall. Those will be emailed to council members the next day. The council will then have a special, called meeting at 6 p.m. May 28 to review the resumes as a group. Discussion of them will take place in executive session and is closed to the public.
The council unanimously passed the fiscal year 2019-20 budget 8-0 on first reading, with council member Phil Myers absent.
O'Nan said she was happy that it includes raises for clerical employees as well as those in the Public Works department.
City Clerk Tamie Johnson said most revenue stayed the same, although she lowered projected revenue from a malt beverage and distilled spirits tax from $400,000 to $350,000 and income from a restaurant alcoholic beverage tax from $45,000 to $40,000. The revenue from property tax could increase since it is the year the county reevaluates property values within the city.
"But that's something we won't know until October," Johnson said.
The total revenue is projected to be more than $10.7 million, up from nearly $10.6 million from the 2018-19 fiscal year, which ends June 30.
The budget also includes $98,100 in capital expenditures, including $19,000 for the purchase of a police dog and training of it and its handler, 10 self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) units for the fire department for $64,000, a 61-inch zero-turn mower for the public works department for $9,100, $2,000 in office furniture for planning and zoning and $4,000 for the mayor's office to update the camera and visual aids in the council chambers.
The council will vote on the budget a second and final time at its June meeting.
One person signed up to speak in front of the council. Michael Apperson of MIDCO Building Products had asked the council in February about how to get a traffic signal installed at Douthitt Street and the Ky. 121 Bypass.
O'Nan had said she would bring the request to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, which maintains those roads.
Apperson was back Monday to talk about a death at the intersection.
"Three weeks ago a man walked out of MIDCO and took his last step," Apperson said.
The grandfather of the owner died in a wreck there, he said.
He added there was another wreck on Friday.
"It's averaging one a month, so whatever influence you have (with the state highway department), I think it's time to exert it," Apperson said.
Null said he had spoken with state Rep. Richard Heath about the possibility of a traffic signal at the intersection, but that Heath was not optimistic about the highway department agreeing.
Apperson said he would be fine with a red light during times when the intersection is especially busy, especially when the school day is starting and ending and at lunch. It could perhaps be a flashing caution light at other times, he said. He added that at least 20 large trucks and sometimes as many as 70 visit the business daily, and there have been several near misses.
Apperson also asked why a letter to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in support of a signal had not already been written by the city.
"You are exactly right," O'Nan said. "It should have been."
MIDCO is discussing turning its Mayfield property into a warehouse and operating the business outside of town if the issue is not resolved, he said.
O'Nan said the letter in support of the traffic signal will be drafted by Wednesday and that she will make arrangements to accompany Apperson to a meeting with the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to further pursue the matter.
In other business:
• O'Nan gave her state of the city address, focusing on the recent economic development announcements in Graves County as well as additions to parks. The city will soon complete a pickle ball court near the Scott Thompson Tennis Courts and a lighted basketball court on the corner of West Farthing and 10th streets, she said.
• The council passed on first reading an ordinance amending final figures in the 2018-19 budget as well as a regularly required update of the sewer use ordinance.
• The council passed on first reading six resolutions, including one giving $6,500 to the Mayfield/Graves County Senior Citizens Center for an emergency repair of its walk-in cooler, used to store food for senior meals
• Public Works Superintendent Russ Brower said limb pickup will be June 3-6 south of Broadway and June 10-13 north of Broadway.