By John L. Ross / Staff Writer
A current Williamsburg business is one step closer to opening bigger doors after Monday’s Williamsburg City Council meeting.
During the meeting, council members were told by Mayor Roddy Harrison that selling the former Lion Uniform building was the next step in seeing this business grow.
Harrison said that American Pet Food Manufacturing Corporation has expressed an interest in that location. That business is currently on 13th Street.
“We’ll sell that property (to this company) for a dollar,” Harrison said, adding that this is “with the understanding that she’d be here (and) make (the business) bigger.”
Harrison said meetings have been held with various local banks, and that there are “really really good possibilities” for this pet food business expansion.
Council member Richard Foley asked what restrictions have been established for this company. Harrison said that he talked with the company at length, adding that if things don’t work out, the building would revert back to city ownership, as would any loan debt incurred.
“I guess it is rolling the dice a little bit,” Harrison said.
Council member Erica Harris asked if the neighbors to this business would be affected, particularly by the smell of the product.
Harrison said the produced food is dehydrated, so there is no cooking process involved. He added that the company seeks to “push the distribution outside of the building.”
Council member Laurel West asked if the company would be listed on property and occupational tax rolls, which Harrison assured would be the case.
Foley asked how many jobs would be created, but Harrison declined to give a specific number at this time.
“It’ll be more than we had,” said Troy Sharp, council member.
“There’s no official confirmation,” Harrison added. “But during the meeting it was said the job creation potential was very high.”
Foley motioned to sell the company the former Lion Uniform building for $1, and it was seconded by Harris.
All present council members were unanimous in this decision. Council member Chet Riley was absent, as he was out of town for medical purposes.
In other council news:
— Greg Parton, with the Kentucky League of Cities, presented the council with a check for $1,304.51 as part of the safety grant program. According to Harrison, Janice Benge has been applying for this grant, which is used for work zone safety.
“She oversees it for Williamsburg,” he said, adding that she has been the safety coordinator. According to Parton, since the grant’s beginning in 1999, more than $3 million has been used toward safety.
No council action was needed for this check presentation.
— Council members unanimously agreed to enter into an inter local 911 agreement. According to Harrison, it is virtually the same agreement voted on in the past, with very minor changes. Foley motioned to enter into the agreement, with a second from Council member Mary Ann Stanfill. The agreement involves Whitley County and the cities of Williamsburg and Corbin, and it establishes management control of the Whitley County 911 Dispatch Center. This also continues the Whitley County 911 Board, which is chaired by Jerry Rains. According to the agreement, the following agencies are part of the 911 Board: the Whitley County Sheriff’s Department, the Williamsburg Police Department, Corbin Police Department, Whitley County Police, Kentucky State Police, Kentucky Emergency Management, Whitley County Emergency Management, the coroner’s office, the constables’ office and the county’s Fiscal Court.
All budgetary decisions remain the domain of the Whitley County Fiscal Court.
— City council members agreed unanimously to enter into a Municipal Aid Cooperative contract and resolution for the fiscal year 2013-14.
The approved resolution adopts a Municipal Aid Co-op Program Contract between the city and the Commonwealth of Kentucky, the Transportation Cabinet, and the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid.
The contract states that the DRMC disburses monies to the city for materials, labor and equipment necessary to maintain, repair and improve roads on incorporated city streets.
Harrison explained Monday that instead of a monthly dispersal, 60 percent of the allocated funds will come in June, and the remainder toward the end of the fiscal year. Harrison said that first dispersal totals $73,649.
Sharp motioned for approval, with a second from Foley.
— City council members unanimously approved an ordinance establishing zoning changes for the city.
These zoning changes are to update the city’s zoning map.
West made the motion for approval, with a second from Foley.
— The upcoming fiscal year requires a budget, and Harrison had council members decide what days were acceptable to hear comments and concerns about the budget.
At 4:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 28 there will be the first meeting, with the second slated for noon on Wednesday, May 29.
City Clerk Teresa Black said there are several numbers the city is waiting on to finalize the actual budget.
No action was required on this.