By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
Williamsburg Police will soon have a new officer on duty — and a new tool to combat speeders.
During the regular monthly meeting of the Williamsburg City Council Monday, Williamsburg Police Chief Wayne Bird told council members of a new K9 patrol dog for the department.
“We purchased the dog,” Bird said. “We are waiting until the handler course starts sometime around the first of May.”
He added that the officer will then take part in a two-week course in Arkansas, where possession of the dog will be taken.
Officer Jason Strunk will be the handler for this dog, Bird told council members.
“Strunk already has Lee, a bomb detection dog,” Bird said, adding the new K9 will be named after the department takes possession.
Officer Brandon Prewitt has Raz, a bomb detection dog, and Rico, a patrol dog.
“The patrol dogs are dual purpose tracking, narcotics detection and criminal apprehension,” Bird said, adding the new dog will be for patrol.
He told council members that Officer Jim Pool was promoted to Sgt. Pool, and he will oversee the K9 teams.
Bird also told council members of a new monitoring tool purchased by the department a couple weeks ago.
“We also now have a ‘data box,’” Bird said. He explained a data box records average speeds through a particular street or intersection, which determines if patrols need to be increased n that area.
“Cumberland Avenue will be our first target,” Bird said.
No council decisions were required for this information.
In council business:
— Several parcels of property are listed on an ordinance to receive a zoning change — and the first reading of that ordinance was Monday night.
No vote was taken on the matter, and little was said about the changes. Mayor Roddy Harrison did say the city’s zoning map “is finally correct” save for a couple small changes.
“We want to (approve) of all these (zoning changes) at one time,” Harrison said. “We lack just a few places.”
City Attorney Greta Price read the ordinance.
All affected property owners were notified of the possible zoning changes through letter, which included residents of Florence Avenue, North Sixth Street, North Tenth Street, South Second Street, Elm Street, South Fifth Street, Cumberland Avenue, U.S. Hwy. 25W South, and KY 92.
The second reading of the ordinance is slated for May’s regular city council meeting.
— Council members approved a resolution authorizing the issuance of its “Educational Facilities Revenue Improvement” bond for projects at the University of the Cumberlands.
According to the resolution, the $3 million bond concerns costs already incurred during the acquisition of property and improvements located in Williamsburg. Those properties will be used for the development of athletic fields, the expansion of the school’s football field, the development of a new boulevard into the university campus, and for other education purposes of UC.
One section of that ordinance, which Harrison also mentioned during Monday’s meeting, concerns the city’s liability on that bond. “We are not held liable,” Harrison explained. “It’s the University’s job to pay it back.”
He added that the school would receive a better interest rate by handling the bond in this matter.
Council member Troy Sharp motioned to approve the resolution, with a second from Council member Erica Harris. Council member Laurel West voted for the motion. Council member Richard Foley abstained from the vote. Council members Mary Ann Stanfill and Chet Riley were absent from Monday’s meeting.
Harrison provided the last vote of approval for this measure.