East High Street lots sold to Habitat for Humanity

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By Jesse Osbourne


Four East High Street lots were sold to Habitat for Humanity last week during the regular scheduled Springfield city council meeting on Oct. 9.

The council voted to sell the lots for $1,000 each.
Randy Banks, president of My New Kentucky Home (the local Habitat for Humanity organization), asked that the city continue mowing and maintaining the lots through the end of the year.
Banks also proposed paying the city $450 annually to mow the lots.
“Our issue is, if we build in the three-year rotation, because we also serve Nelson and Marion, the last house wouldn’t be built until 2022,” Banks said at the meeting. “I have trouble thinking of 2013, much less 2022.”
Glenn Mattingly, public works director for the city, said mowing the lots for a set fee would open Pandora’s box.
“If we mow their lots for a set fee, who else is going to want us to mow?” Mattingly said. “We get about what we have to do done, but it stresses us to do it sometimes. I don’t want to put the city in a situation where somebody says, ‘Well, they’re mowing for them for so much money, I want them to mow ours, too.’ Because then we really don’t have the time.”
Bill Robinson, the city attorney, suggested giving Banks a few leads to help find someone to mow.
“The better approach would be to give the gentleman some leads on people he could contact and let him do that on his own instead of subletting it,” Robinson said.
The council agreed to sell the lots on the condition that mowing the lots was worked out.
City Administrator Laurie Smith said completing the East High Street project would open up the opportunity for another community development block grant (CBDG), something AU Associates, who was granted the Robertson building lease, plans to apply for, she said.
“They need that opening through CBDG in order to write a CDBG grant for the Robertson building,” she said.

Woman’s club proposal

Smith said the negotiations for the Woman’s Club building are still underway, as the club is working with the secretary of state to update their records prior to a formal lease agreement.
However, she said, the city has been advised that a private party is also working on a similar venue to incorporate a retail outlet for local artists, craftsmen and producers.
“While we are still proceeding, it has been suggested that we re-evaluate our original proposal before a lease is executed to see if there is another venue that would work better for the city’s participation,” Smith said in her report.

Though Danny Hardin was awarded the bid to complete the 2012 fiscal year audit for the city, he won’t be able to conduct the procedure after all.
Hardin contacted the city recently and notified them he can’t fulfill the agreement due to staffing issues, according to Smith.
The city negotiated with another local CPA, Rick Downs, but Downs was also unable to perform the audit.
Smith and Company, a firm in Bardstown, agreed to conduct the audit for the initial price that Hardin negotiated.
Smith and Company agreed to perform the audit for $13,081, unless an OMB A-133 audit was necessary. In that instance, an additional fee of $4,944 is required, or $5,871 if the major programs include HUD or federal stimulus money.

ABC ordinance amendment
On the agenda for the meeting was possible amendments to the Springfield ABC ordinance.
The amendment wasn’t discussed, but will be brought up at a future meeting.
“The amendment will allow for convenient stores (with the sell of gasoline) to be allowed to obtain a license (while abiding by all other stipulations in local and state laws) in the two-block downtown area from Walnut Street to Doctor Street,” according to Smith’s report. “In our current ordinance, this is prohibited.”

Synthetic drugs
The second reading of an ordinance banning the sale and use of synthetic drugs was read and passed by a unanimous vote by the council.

Trick-or-treat on Main Street
Halloween activities will take place for children under 12 in downtown Springfield on Oct. 31 from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m.
A costume contest will be held at 5:30 p.m. at the Springfield Baptist Church.
Trick-or-treating in the residential areas will take place from 5:30 p.m. until 7 p.m.

Surplus equipment bids
Pat Taylor was awarded a bid to buy a surplus tractor from the city for $1,750. Tim Smith was awarded the bid to buy a surplus mower from the city for $250.
All council members were in attendance.
The next regular scheduled council meeting is at 5:30 p.m. on Nov. 13 at Springfield City Hall.