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James Burgin appointed as new Prestonville City Commissioner

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Fills spot vacated in October by Stevens

By Sandie Banks

After two failed attempts last month, Prestonville City Commission appointed James Burgin as its member during a Nov. 18 meeting.

During the Oct. 21 meeting, Mayor Billy Walker read a resignation letter from Commissioner Rae Stevens. Nominations were made at this meeting and a special meeting called a week later. Both times commission votes on Gail Collins and James McArter ended in a tie and no one was appointed.

Another vote Nov. 18 also ended with a stalemate when the same two were nominated.

Burgin, who was also nominated by Commissioner Charlie Smith, was then asked about his desire to be on the commission.  Burgin said at he had been involved years ago.  

A vote was taken, and Burgin was selected to fill the vacant seat.

Sewer payments

Walker reminded the commission that the city’s sewer payment is due.  At a previous meeting, they had discussed the possibility of paying an additional amount toward the principal to reduce the $150,000 debt.  

The mayor asked commissioners “how much extra” they are willing to pay.

City Clerk Debbie Wright, who resigned last month and was attending her last meeting, suggested that commissioners  pay “$50,000 for three years” toward the remaining debt.  

Commissioner Louie Spencer told the commission he did not think they should “sit” on the money. He made a motion to pay the additional $50,000.  Spencer also suggested the city seek out grants to help pay the additional $100,000.

If the commission continued with the current payment of $7,000 a year, plus interest, it would take more than 20 years to pay the remaining debt.  The vote was unanimous, and the board will pay an additional $50,000 this year toward the principal.

Dunn Street flooding

Smith asked the commission if they noticed the flooding on Dunn Street during the recent rains.  “We need to do something about it,” he said.  

There was previously a “ditch running down both sides of Dunn Street” Burgin said.  

A buildup of land at Christman Farms has led to the ditches being filled in, and the water is collecting in the road.  This topic has been under discussion by the board at previous meetings.  

Both Alecia Gamm-Hubbard, the previous city attorney, and Spencer had spoken to Christman Farms about correcting the problem.  

Spencer told the board they were “supposed to fix it.” With the cold weather on its way, the board agreed that the problem needed to be corrected.

“We need to send them a letter,” Walker told the board. 

Dog issues

Walker told the board there had been “a lot of dogs running around here.  Saturday there were six or seven out here,” he said.  Burgin suggested they call the county dog catcher. Walker told the board he would see what could be done.

Commissioner Linda Clark told the commission she is a member of the Carroll County Animal Support, and if the animals were abused or abandoned, they could call her, or Tammy Crawford.  

Christmas party

The city commission opted not to have a Christmas party this year, but instead will scout the town in search of homes with children and spend the money on those households.  The idea was Clark’s, and Burgin agreed to assist her in surveying homes in Prestonville.   

 

Snow removal

The city voted to contract with Paul Yocum for snow removal in Prestonville at a cost of $140 per trip. Walker told the commission Yocum would come out day or night, and “won’t come out unless we call.”

Citizens comments

During the citizen’s comments, previous City Clerk Christina McArter addressed the mayor and read a letter she had prepared. She said that she had spoken to Detective Michael Gonterman with Kentucky State Police about allegations made based on audits that have recently been conducted during the time when she was the clerk. 

She said Gonterman had told her that the attorney in Henry County, Ms. Harrod, to whom the evidence had been given, had “declined to prosecute.”   

McArter asked that the board “refrain from speaking” her name while she isn’t present to defend herself, and reminded them “that there are laws against making accusations” that are unfounded.  She asked the commission “is there anything that you would like to ask me?”  

Commissioners asked about a flash drive in McArter’s possession with city records. She told them that everything on the drive was in the filing room when she left the position, and the drive she is in possession of belongs to her.  Commissioners had nothing further to ask McArter.

David Stark also addressed the commission about a recent incident involving the death of another dog by his pit bull.  He said he “wanted to assure everybody, this will not happen again.” He was adamant that, from now on, “every time” she is out of the house, she would be on a leash.

The next meeting is 6 p.m. Monday, Dec. 16.