By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
Could Barbourville be the next Kentucky city to ban smoking in public places?
The Knox County Health Coalition hopes so.
Armed with visuals, facts and other information, two coalition members made their case Thursday for the city to pass a no-smoking ordinance.
The ordinance plea was part of a presentation coalition members Susan Liford and Belinda Pritchard gave on the coalition’s growth since their founding in 2010.
The presentation was made during the Barbourville City Council’s regular meeting at City Hall.
Towards the end of their presentation, Liford — the Knox County Health Department’s director — made a request to Mayor David Thompson and city council members.
“I would like to see Barbourville step up and take a stand on making this city pass an ordinance banning smoking in public places,” she stated.
Liford mentioned several other cities in the region and in the state, including Corbin, London and Williamsburg, that have no-smoking ordinances in place.
Pritchard — a nurse and health educator with the Knox County Health Department, and chairwoman of the health coalition — then showed graphs that dealt with the effects of smoking in some Kentucky cities.
At one point, she held up a chart showing air quality samples the department took from several Barbourville businesses and restaurants where smoking is allowed.
Pritchard noted the results were not encouraging.
Holding up a picture of a little boy, Liford again urged the council to pass a no-smoking ordinance.
“We would be glad to help you with drawing up an ordinance. … If we don’t do this for ourselves, let’s do it for our kids. They’re depending on us,” she said.
Earlier, Pritchard and Liford told the council about the coalition’s activities since it began in 2010. Because of grants they received since their founding, the coalition was able to apply money to projects and improvements in five focus areas: nutrition, secondhand smoke, dental care, obesity and physical activity.
Both Liford and Pritchard focused on activities, programs and events that related to the focus areas, such as Family Fun Fitness Day, the Sandy Bottoms Nature Trail, and the Knox County Farmers’ Market.
The coalition also did a community health needs assessment, which listed substance abuse and what to do about the problem as the number one health concern in Barbourville and Knox County. The second one was tobacco use, while chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke, was third on the list.
During the council meeting, Josh Callihan, general manager of the Barbourville Utility Commission, said his department is working on relocating lines on the upcoming Ky. 11 bridge project in the city, adding the project would begin soon.
Callihan also commended the city utility crews for their long hours and hard work during this winter’s weather, and reminded the council about the electric usage during the bitter cold days.
“I want people to understand that electricity is a metered service. It’s based on what you use. … Everybody across the nation is experiencing high utility bills,” he said.
Thompson brought up the city looking into “smart meters” — advanced electric meters that identify energy consumption in more detail than conventional meters. The technology in a smart meter is far more advanced, with the meters having the ability to communicate information by a secured network back and forth between the customer and the utility.
Thompson added the smart meters would allow customers to pre-pay for their electricity needs, which would eliminate deposits, and allows customers to see how much electricity they use.
“It allows people who don’t have credit a way to establish credit, and it shows how they can be frugal in their energy purchases,” a man in the audience said about the smart meters.
In their report, the city’s Street Department mentioned the Arctic blast Barbourville and Kentucky has had this winter was the coldest (in terms of freezing) since the winter of 1977. They added the city was in “OK” shape and in good supply on salt with the state highway department. But the report said, “It’s been a day-to-day battle because of the weather.”
Barbourville Tourist and Recreation Commission Director Denise Wainscott mentioned both the city and the tourism office were working on developing five biking and walking paths in the city. She added, “We’re looking at how biking and hiking can be another layer of things to bring people here to Barbourville.”
Wainscott also reminded the council about the first-ever Barbourville BBQ Competition, a sanctioned barbecue competition event which will be held in the city on June 20-21.
Among actions taken at the session, council members reappointed Joann Maybrier and Loretta Gray to three-year terms on the city’s Code Enforcement Board.
They also approved the salaries for the mayor and council members the same as the year before. The salary for the city’s mayor remains at $12,000 a year, with the six city council members remaining at $1,200 a year for each of them.
Knox County Health Coalition calls for ordinance
By Jeff Noble / Staff Writer
- Local News
Woman questions judge/exec about daughter’s emergency care
Tensions exploded during Tuesday’s regular Whitley County Fiscal Court meeting — and much of the tension appeared to stem from an issue one woman has concerning her daughter’s care during an emergency situation alleged to have happened in the county.
Floss, Pyatt to perform at Corbin High
Promising “An Evening of Fun and Entertainment,” humorist, comedian and storyteller Howard Floss will join multi-award winning singer and songwriter Dale Pyatt on stage in Corbin on Saturday, May 17.
Leaders meet to plan Laurel River Lake Cleanup event
Leaders involved in the annual Laurel River Lake Cleanup met Tuesday to plan for the event.
CCU to give notice to get out of KU contract
A wholesale power supply contract between Kentucky Utilities and 12 city-owned utility companies in the state — including Corbin City Utilities — has raised some wattage lately.
Arena home to circus two nights in May
It’s been said everyone loves a circus. With that being said, “The Greatest Show on Earth” is coming to Corbin next month.
Last day of Laurel schools set for May 31
After a long, cold winter,the last day of school is finally in sight for the Laurel County School District.
W’burg Council discusses lawsuit
The open portion of Monday night’s regular meeting of the Williamsburg City Council was just over 15 minutes long — it was the 45-minute executive session that kept council members there for more than an hour.
Teen hit by van on Master Street, flown to Lexington
A 17-year-old Corbin boy was flown to a Lexington hospital Sunday evening after he was hit by a church van on Master Street.
Corbin Bypass/25E crash sends two to hospital
Two people were taken to the hospital Monday after a crash at the intersection of the Corbin Bypass and U.S. 25E.
Two arrested after high speed chase
Two people from East Bernstadt were arrested Monday morning following a car chase, according to Laurel County Sheriff John Root.
- More Local News Headlines
- Woman questions judge/exec about daughter’s emergency care