By Jeff Noble
In a surprise move at their session Monday, the Corbin City Commission tabled an ordinance that would have set up a no-parking zone on all of Oaklawn Circle, located off Barton Mill Road.
The first reading of the ordinance was set for the commission’s regular meeting, which was held at Corbin City Hall. The ordinance not only would have established the no-parking zone on the street, but would have set fines, jurisdiction and location for violating it.
The ordinance never got a first reading.
Several residents living on the circle showed up at the meeting to express their concerns. Most who spoke said the proposed ordinance would have caused problems for the people living along the street.
“It creates a hardship on most of the residents of the subdivision,” said one man sitting among others from the neighborhood.
Another resident added, “I’ve lived in Oaklawn for 39 years, and I don’t know of any accidents happening there in that time.”
“Oaklawn has one of the widest streets in town,” said one person who noted he’d lived on the circle for over 40 years.
Not all the comments were against the proposed ordinance.
One man in the crowd pointed out, “There’s another side of the story. There’s cars and trailers that are parked there, and buses do have problems getting in.”
“We didn’t really know that much about what a problem it is until after we brought it up,” said Mayor Willard McBurney.
The matter was brought up at last month’s meeting on Jan. 14. At that time, commissioners voted 3-2 to approve authorizing City Attorney Bob Hammons to draw up the ordinance, which set the no parking zone on Oaklawn Circle from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. City Manager Marlon Sams said in January the request for the ordinance came due to safety concerns from school bus drivers and from mothers of children in the area.
After those in the audience spoke, McBurney told the commission, “It’s my recommendation that we table this and not pursue it, and not bring it up any further.”
The motion to table the ordinance passed unanimously, with Commissioners Suzie Razmus, Bruce Hodge and Ed Tye joining McBurney in favor of tabling it. Commissioner Joe Shelton was not present at the session.
There were two other ordinances that got first readings at the meeting.
One, written by city Building Inspector Frank Burke with some revisions made by Hammons, will regulate the use of temporary structures, activities and uses in all building open to the public, or used for purposes not accessory to other buildings and/or businesses.
The other one will enact and adopt a supplement to the city’s code of ordinances, which will include recent updates made to some of them. Both first readings passed unanimously.
Second readings of the two ordinances are expected to be held later this month. If passed again, they’ll become law after legal publication.
In addition, commission members approved a resolution that adopts a modern and accurate legal description of territory on Cobb Street, off Barton Mill Road, that was previously annexed by an ordinance. The resolution was done in order to adjust and define corporate lines, as well as more clearly identify a property that’s not within the city’s corporate limits.
Among other actions taken at the meeting, the commission approved authorizing Sams to purchase three new vehicles for the police department from Freedom Dodge in Lexington. The price of each vehicle is $29,705.20, with the city making four annual payments to the dealer over three years. The total purchase comes to $89,115.60.
Sams was also authorized to purchase a lift to work on vehicles at the Public Works Department’s city garage. The cost to buy the lift is $2,689, with the city installing the lift. Sams added the new lift will give Public Works four spaces to work on vehicles inside the garage.
Also approved was a motion to leave Main Street open for traffic flow during the city’s annual NIBROC Festival in August. However, a motion to read the bids for the micropiles used in cassion drilling for the city’s fire station renovation was not held, because no bids were received after they had been advertised. Council members voted to re-advertise the bids, which was approved. And in his City Manager’s report, Sams noted the Police, Fire and Public Works Departments were recently awarded $5,000 each from Whitley County, with the money coming from that county’s share of coal severance tax revenue.
The audit for the past fiscal year was presented by Wallace Smallwood of the certified public accounting firm of Cloyd & Associates, PSC. The audit listed the city having total assets of $46,183,810, of which depreciable investment in net fixed assets were $42,341,076 and unrestricted cash and cash equivalents of $2,284,117 were the top two sources. Total liabilities came up to $13,118,551, with the two top sources being $10,230,772 for the long-term portion of lease purchase agreements payable, and $1,155,680 for pension liability payable.
The audit also listed total net assets of $33,065,259 for primary governmental activities, and $1,485,140 for component units.
Smallwood did note the audit showed the city did not present a formal budget for the Corbin Arena Fund, which it said was a major fund for the city. It also showed the city did not properly present the required supplementary information related to the Police and Fireman’s Pension Fund. The audit mentioned that while accounting principles generally accepted in the U.S. determine it necessary to supplement, it is not required to be a part of basic financial statements. He also noted material adjustments were made in the audit.
“The bottom line is, we’re pretty well broke even,” McBurney said to Smallwood, who made a motion to accept the audit, which was approved by the commission. They also approved the auditors to send a copy of the audit to the wealth management firm of Hillard-Lyons.
Earlier, the City Commission received a plaque from the Laurel County Shrine Club in appreciation of their support for the club’s efforts to help youngsters through Shriner’s Hospital for Children in Lexington.
“Last year, the City of Corbin gave a $1,000 donation to the club, and overall we raised $9,000 last year for the children. We took that money down to Lexington, and we’re taking donations again this year. Knox County has 127 kids going there, Laurel County has 218, and Whitley County has 203 kids going to the hospital. Statewide, 7,512 kids are served by our hospital in Lexington,” said Mike McKnight, the Laurel County Shrine Club’s president, who was introduced by the club’s Bobby Owens at the meeting.
Later, the commission agreed to give the club at least a $1,000 donation for 2013.