The first phase of the Berea Bypass will be open for motorists Jan. 12.

Tuesday night at a meeting of the Berea City Council, City Administrator Randy Stone told council members that the city received notification of the opening on Tuesday morning. The first phase of the bypass links Interstate 75 Exit 77 and Richmond Road.

“We figure sometime after midnight they’ll be taking down the barricades,” Stone said about the Jan. 12 opening.

The only thing thought to be holding up the opening of the road was the installation of traffic lights at the intersection of the bypass and US 25.

The city also is lobbying the state to have street lamps installed at the intersection of the bypass and US 25, and where the road intersects with Menelaus Pike. Stone noted, however, the state typically does not pay for street lighting unless it is near an on or off ramp of the freeway.

In other news, the city council:

• Was sworn in for the second time by Madison County Circuit Court Judge William Clouse. The council had been previously sworn in on Dec. 17 because city officials received a warning from the Kentucky League of Cities stating if officials were not sworn in by Jan. 1, their seats could be vacated for two years. The city had a standing date with Clouse and decided to go ahead with the formal swearing although council members already had been administered the oath.

During his presentation, Clouse, who was himself elected to serve on Madison County Circuit Court last November, praised the city council members, noting that public service is a special calling.

“You are doing God’s work when you work for the people of Berea,” Clouse said.

Clouse also shared an aside about the oath, noting that many people get a chuckle out of the fact that officials have to swear they haven’t fought a duel in Kentucky. But Clouse noted that while that passage may seem anachronistic, it is an important reminder to officials that the commonwealth is supposed to be governed by laws, not people.

“I like to think that oath says no single person is above the law, and that people can’t take the law into their own hands,” said Clouse.

• Heard a report from Stone stating that the city is studying the problem of water run-off from Cemetery Hill onto KY 1016. The city is especially concerned about the water run-off problem after a motorist hit some ice on the roadway at Christmas Day, Stone said. City officials will be meeting with operatives from Woodall Construction and CDP Engineering at 2 p.m. Thursday, according to Stone.

• Unanimously approved the appointment of Gary Irwin to serve on the Berea Planning and Zoning Commission. In a letter to council members, Mayor Steve Connelly noted that Irwin was a long-time resident of Berea and retired engineer, and that he had previously served on the commission.

• Heard the announcement of Berea City Council committee assignments for 2009-2010. Serving on Audit and Finance will be Glenn Jennings, chair, along with Violet Farmer, Virgil Burnside and Billy Wagers; the Human Resources Committee will have Violet Farmer as chair, joined by Billy Wagers, Troy Van Winkle and Jerry Little; Public Works will be chaired by Virgil Burnside, joined by Ronnie Terrill, Jerry Little and Greg Lakes; and the Parks and Recreation Committee will be chaired by Greg Lakes, who will be joined by Troy Van Winkle, Ronnie Terrill and Glenn Jennings.

At one point, Terrill asked whether he was allowed to sit in on meetings of other committees, even if he was not a member of that committee. Connelly replied that was absolutely allowed, although the mayor noted that non-committee members can not cast votes in committee, but can vote on a proposal once an issue is presented at a work session or business meeting.

• Heard comments from newly elected council members Billy Wagers, Jerry Little, Troy Van Winkle and Ronnie Terrill, who thanked voters for the chance to serve. Terrill expressed hope that the council could “put a little money” back into the pockets of voters.

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