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Councilman Robb Adams told fellow councilmembers during the comments period that he is in favor of the city of Carrollton annexing into the county on Hwy. 227 to I-71 and wanted their opinions on the subject.
He also encouraged everyone to look at state House Bill 11, sponsored by Rep. David Floyd of Bardstown.
According to the Kentucky League of Cities website, HB 11 would give cities that annex an area covered by a fire protection district or volunteer fire department the primary right to provide fire protection to the area if the city has a regular fire department. This would be conditional upon payment of the territory’s proportionate share of the fire districts’ total indebtedness, similar to existing law, according to the website.
City Attorney Ed James said he would get a copy of the bill to read over.
Adams said he is “extremely excited” about annexation and believes it is something both the city and the county need to do. He said he has done research and thinks some kind of feasibility study should be completed.
Mayor Gene McMurry said he has already researched a lot of the material Adams brought up, and he also is interested to see whether or not the bill will pass.
He said from what he understands, Ghent Fire Protection District could continue providing the fire protection for the area if the city annexes it. However, Adams said he believes this would be a bad idea down the road.
McMurry said he would have representatives from KLC come to a future meeting and talk to council about annexation. Council agreed that they would like them to come.
“The quicker we can move on it, the better,” Adams said.
Warehouse a ‘public safety issue’
Pat Giles, who lives in the 600 block of Seventh Street, is a lifetime resident of Carroll County and has lived in his home for 40 years. “I’ve always been proud of Carrollton to the last few years. I’m not proud of Carrollton anymore.”
Giles said that there is debris abd machinery all over the warehouse property, and a very large hole at Seventh and Polk streets, and if a child fell in that hole, chances are they would die because no one would hear their cry for help, he said.
He requested that council do something to clean it up. He said he has been told that if owner Jay Gibson is still in a lawsuit, nothing can be done; but he said he does not believe that. “As long as there is a public safety issue, then something needs to be done,” Giles said.
City Attorney Ed James said he would talk to the judge to see if the city could cleanup the property. Since he just became City Attorney at the beginning of the year, he said he has not gotten to look at a copy of the stay on the property yet, but he will research it and see if the city can do something to legally clean it up since it is a public safety issue.
James said he would have information on the issue by the next council meeting, Jan. 28.
Wi-fi improved, still work in progress
Brent Graves of Powered On told council that since its last meeting, they have made “huge leaps and bounds” on the citywide Wi-Fi project. Over the last 30 days, 1,115 individual users have used the antennas and there have been 500,000 connections.
Councilman Dwight Louden said they did not think about the proliferation of smart phones when the Wi-Fi was being installed and asked if the city had enough bandwidth. Graves said some have plenty while others need more.
Mayor Gene McMurry asked if service had been provided at Carrollton Village yet. Graves said he needs permission from management to install an antenna on a light pole or on the office building, but he has not heard back from anyone. Chas Robbins of Carrollton Utilities said she had a contact there and would talk to them about it.
Graves and councilmembers also discussed other places in Carrollton that are not receiving coverage, including Fifth Street on the back side of town and parts of Highland Avenue.
Council passes on social media manager
Bob Nance of Carrollton presented a proposal for his company to provide social media management services to the city for the Two Rivers Campground and also to advertise the city in general.
“Doing it wrong is the same as not doing it at all,” he said of social media management.
Nance said if council signed up within the week, he would waive the $500 setup fee and lower the monthly rate from $450 to $200 for one year. He could not tell council what the rate would be next year.
The cost included management of three accounts (Facebook, Twitter and the client’s choice). The company agreed to update Facebook three to four times per week and Twitter three to four times per day, as well as provide competition reports and help increase website traffic.
Mayor Gene McMurry said he believes the city should do this because, added to the national advertising the city is already doing for the campground, he thought this would be all the advertising they would need to do for the year.
Councilwoman Ann Deatherage said she was hesitant to add anything new in the middle of a budget year.
McMurry asked Carroll County Tourism Director Rhonda Welch if the city could split the cost with Tourism if they also publicized their events. Welch said they already had a Facebook account that she manages and said the city could probably pay a high school student less money to update the city’s social media accounts. She also said the city has not been able to see if the national advertising for the campground is working or not.
Councilman Robb Adams agreed, saying the national advertising is directed at campers and he was not sure what kind of return the campground would get. Councilman Mike Gordon pointed out that the city already has a Facebook account and two websites. Councilman Dwight Louden said he thought the social media management might be a good idea, but, right now, council has yet to decide how much money they will budget for the campground next year.
“I take the credit for not doing a good job of projecting expenses,” McMurry said. Budget meetings begin in March, he said to Nance, and council could look at whether or not they have the funds for social media management at that time.
Nance said his company could do a contract at any time, but did not know if he could offer the same discount later.