By Bill Robinson
Despite a request for delay from an attorney representing one property owner, the Richmond City Commission declared its intent Tuesday to annex two small parcels of property surrounded by the city on Boggs Lane.
Madison County Ford resides on one parcel owned by Ken Ruhl LCC. Ruhl was formerly the Ford dealer in Richmond. The other parcel is owned by National Real Estate Inc. of Indiana.
Separate ordinances of declaration will send each property to the planning commission for a zoning recommendation. Then both will come back to the city commission for final consideration, according to City Clerk Lisa Cassity.
During a pre-meeting work session that began at 4:30 p.m., Mayor Jim Barnes said Lexington attorney Jim Deckard had faxed him a letter that afternoon asking that a vote on the parcel owned by Ruhl be postponed until he could meet with the commission to explain his client’s objections.
Deckard attended the regular session that began at 6 p.m. and again asked that action be postponed, but Barnes said he could think of no reason that could justify delay.
During the work session, Barnes and City Manager Jimmy Howard said they had been in negotiation with Ruhl for longer than six months and had already delayed action once at the property owner’s request. Both men recommended then that the city commission proceed.
Newly elected Commissioner Laura King voted against the ordinance, which was being heard on second reading. King said she was always willing to listen to an objection before acting.
Barnes said both properties are completely surrounded by the city and already benefit from city services, including police and fire protection, city streets and utilities.
All other new-car dealerships in Richmond receive the same services and pay city taxes, the mayor said, and not bringing the Ford dealership into the city when it receives city services would be unfair to other businesses.
In other action, the commission:
• Extended the hours for drink sales in approved restaurants on “Super Bowl” Sunday, Feb. 3, through 1 a.m. Feb. 4. City ordinance normally ends Sunday drink sales at 9 p.m.
• Accepted the resignation of J.D. Chaney from the planning commission and Richard Thomas as his replacement. Thomas, a member of the city commission the past two years, formerly served on the planning commission.
• Re-appointed Kenard Bosley to a four-year term on the board of adjustments
• Raised the pay of street department employee Joseph T. Plowman from $8 to $10 an hour because he had obtained a commercial driver’s license and will be moving into a job that requires the license, replacing an employee formerly in that position
• Raised the pay of four street department employees who had obtained excavating-and-trenching certification from the Occupational Health and Safety Administration and will be taking on new duties. The employees and their new pay rates are: James R. Cotton, $14.18; Joshua Farthing, $13,83; Dwayne Newby, $14.18; and Ronnie D. Newby, $15.18.
• Approved dismissal of a probationary employee, Charles Napolitano. The commission met in a brief executive session before acting.
Bill Robinson can be reached at email@example.com@richmondregister.com or at 624-6690.