Residents of Berea may notice a few new city limit signs strategically placed around town to help the street department employees know where they need to be maintaining road sides, Paul Schrader, new head of the city street department, told the city council Tuesday.
The city limits can be confusing in some places, Schrader said. On Old US 25 North, Vineyard Estates is within city limits, but across the road the neighborhood on Misti Drive is not. And while traveling KY 21 east of town, you will leave and re-enter city limits five or six times, he said.
“Big Hill Road (KY 21) is very confusing,” Schrader said, “and if we put a road sign everywhere you exited and everywhere you entered back in, we’d probably have 100 signs.”
However, the fire department will respond regardless of where city limit falls, and the police department has an understanding that if there is anything life threatening, they will respond, Schrader said.
Also during its Tuesday night meeting, the city council recognized Berea’s Pedestrian Safety Task Force and its efforts to make the city’s streets safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
Funded by a grant from FedEx, through Safe Kids USA, the task force looked at areas in need of infrastructure improvement, task force member Hilary Dolstad told the council. The group has mapped every Berea intersection crosswalk with a signal and worked with city government to improve the crosswalks, he said.
The task force also has constructed a multimodal path across the parking lot at Berea Community School. The path has decreased the crossing distance across the parking lot entrance, Dolstad said.
Seven high-visibility crosswalks have been installed on school routes; 12 countdown-crossing signals were installed with crossing times adjusted; and ADA (American with Disabilities Act) compliant modifications were made at three locations, which include ramp mats, connection crosswalks and sidewalks.
After council comments, near the meeting’s end, Mayor Steve Connelly asked for an executive session to “discuss the possibility of the acquisition of property, the price of which may be affected by public discussion.” Belle Jackson, Berea’s tourism director, also was requested to attend.
The next joint meeting of Madison County’s three local governing bodies has been set for April 18, and council member Ronnie Terrill said he would like to include “the airport situation” on the agenda.
Because Judge/Executive Kent Clark is attempting to block one of Berea’s appointments to the airport board, Terrill said he wants to discuss the issue unless it is resolved.
The council approved the second reading of ordinance to refinance at a lower interest rate a bond issue sold for the city to purchase Berea College Utilities.
Even with the bond market in a “fragile state,” refinancing the bond at its current principal amount of nearly $9.7 million, the new issue is expected to save the city about $600,000, said Chris Bowling of Civic Finance Advisors.
“It sounds like we need to move very quick with the volatilities, so I would move adoption of the ordinance 03-013 today,” Burnside said.
Moody’s Investors Service rating for the city’s utilities bonds remain at A1, which is still very good. but Bowling said he was hoping for an upgrade to an AA3. The municipal utility is too small for a higher rating, he said.
In other business, the council:
• Adopted a resolution accepting a $303,000 grant from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet for the redesign of the Berea Bypass project.
• Approved removal of a parking spot in front of the Berea Center for the Arts, 315 Chestnut St., to improve visibility for those exiting the building’s side parking lot.
• Adopted a resolution to reflect the name change of Stemco Motor Wheel Company to Motor Wheel Commercial Vehicles Systems Inc. This is the fourth name change for the company, the second change in the past two weeks.
• Accepted a state grant for the Terrill Branch water project. The project looks to extend wastewater services for homes along Terrill Branch, which will eliminate more than 20 septic systems and reduce contamination.
• Accepted a bid from Terex Equipment for the purchase of a digger derrick truck for the utility department. The original bid of $182,841 included the truck and chassis without accessories, but through negotiations the city was able to get the truck, chassis and all the accessories for a bid of $197,000.
• Received two bids for the purchase of centrifugal trash pump for the utilities department; one from Action Rental Center of Mt. Vernon Road, Berea, for $17,885 and the other from Wilson Equipment Company of Lexington for $14,619.
• Adopted the 2013 strategic plan.
On Saturday, the city will work in conjunction with a group from Berea College to clean up Brushy Fork. Everyone that wants to help is welcome; they will begin clean up at six in the morning, City Administrator Randy Stone said.
Chief David Gregory announced April 13 as the date of the police department's annual 10K race for Special Olympics, which also is the final leg in the Berea Championship series of five races. Afterwards they will be awarding prizes for the three top finishers in the entire series.
A joint meeting has been set for March 28 between city council and the Berea tourism board to discuss the vital statistics for the tourism commission. The meeting will be held in the community room at the Berea Municipal Building at 5:30 p.m.
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EKU wins OVC tourney
The Eastern Kentucky University Colonels are OVC champions and are headed to the Big Dance.
Hot early shooting propelled EKU to a thrilling 79-73 win over defending champion Belmont Saturday in the championship game of the OVC Tournament.
The Colonels receive the OVC's automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament.
The win gave EKU it's sixth OVC Conference Tournament title.
The Colonels hit four consecutive three pointers to open the game and led by as many as 15 points in the first half.
Corey Walden led all scorers in the game with 29 points, including 10-of-11 free throws. Glenn Cosey finished with 23 points on 5-of-8 shooting on three-pointers and Tarius Johnson added 15 points and five rebounds.
Veteran certification officer fired from EKU
Accusations of cheating on an online test led to the firing of an 18-year Eastern Kentucky University employee Wednesday.
Retha Sandlin, formerly a veteran certification officer in the Burnam House for EKU’s student veterans, said the decision resulted from a misunderstanding on the part of Jaime Roberts, the house’s interim office manager.
Proposed bill takes aim at heroin problem
Proposed legislation before the Kentucky General Assembly aims to combat the state’s growing heroin problem using three strategies – education, treatment and law enforcement aid.
Sen. Jared Carpenter, R-Berea, is one of the sponsors of Senate Bill 5. The bill was passed in the Senate earlier this year, 36-1, and is waiting to be heard by the House Judiciary Committee.
New kid at the market
A three-day old black-and-white goat named Ellsa was the star Saturday morning at the new Richmond Downtown Farmers Market.
The Nubian goat mix was brought to the weekly market by Four Sisters Farm. Located off Four Mile Road in Madison County, the farm specializes in goat products.
Hundreds turn out for fishing team’s fundraiser
Madison Central High School’s bass fishing team got a boost Saturday when its first-ever Fishing Tackle Swap turned out to be a huge success.
About 500 buyers showed up to check out what the 38 vendors had to offer. At least 17 of the vendors were from outside Madison County. There were even a few boats for sale.
Pets of the Week from the Madison County Animal Shelter
The Madison County Animal Shelter is located at 1386 Richmond Road in Berea. Shelter hours are 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. Animals available for adoption can be seen from noon to close Monday through Saturday.
Feds deny giving OK to selenium standards
When lawmakers wrestled last year with new standards for releasing selenium into streams by coal mines and industry, they were assured by state officials the proposals were based on sound science and approved by U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service officials.
Eastern students practice fire fighting in burning building
Thick barrels of smoke rolled out of the room as nearby observers could feel the fire’s heat on their faces. Furniture and drywall fueled the blaze. Flames licked the top of the door frame and the flat ceiling.
Airport planning mock disaster drill
Madison Airport officials and Eastern Kentucky University are making plans for a mock disaster drill tentatively scheduled for August.
Prior 'bad acts' to be allowed in Marcum murder trial
A Madison Circuit judge ruled Friday that prior “bad acts” of murder defendant Christina Marcum may be admitted during her upcoming trial.
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