• John McGary, Woodford Sun News Editor

Council discusses storm clean-up

The Versailles City Council Tuesday discussed the the clean-up from the July 20 storm that left behind a big mess.

Near the end of a short meeting, Woodford Emergency Director Drew Chandler briefed the council on several topics, including the burn site at the county park set up by Woodford Fiscal Court and the state Transportation Cabinet. The controlled burn, which began Monday, is being monitored by Transportation employees and only fed on days when high winds won’t blow the smoke towards populated areas, Chandler said.

Chandler said his department was looking at lessons learned from the storm and its aftermath, and “corrective actions,” like using mass notification systems more effectively. Cards, posters and banners will be made available to the public, along with assistance in setting up smart phone applications for mass notification systems. Council Member Ken Kerkhoff told Chandler that he and his crew were doing a great job.

Assistant Public Works Director Paul Simmons said two city and two contractor crews are picking up storm debris, but some property owners haven’t moved their brush close enough to the curb. In an email sent earlier in the day, Public Works Director Bart Miller addressed that issue and others in a series of tips aimed at assisting property owners and the crews picking up debris.

• Debris should be as close to the road as is possible and safe, but no more than 20 feet away.

• Debris should be no more than 10 feet long. Collection workers are not permitted to cut debris.

• For this storm clean up only, the 5” diameter limit is not in effect.

• Small debris (twigs, very small branches, leaves) is the responsibility of the property owner, and should be put in heavy trash bags or trash cans and put out for regular trash pick-up.

• Do not place logs on top of smaller brush.

• Do not cover fire hydrants with brush.

New police chief confirmed

Mayor Brian Traugott’s nomination of Assistant Versailles Police Chief Mike Murray for the department’s top job passed unanimously.

Murray will replace Chief James Fugate, who’s retiring at the end of the month.

Murray is a 30-year law enforcement veteran and joined the Versailles Police Department in February 1995.

Traugott said when he learned of Murray’s plans, his search for a successor was a quick one.

Unsolicited materials

The council heard first reading of an ordinance first considered in March 2017 that’s aimed at keeping unsolicited materials out of lawns and storm sewers. The ordinance would require them to be placed on the front porch, through a mail slot, securely attached to the front door, in a distribution box or personally with the owner. Violations could cost as much as $200, and the city’s Code Enforcement Board would hear appeals.

The ordinance mirrors one passed by the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Council and challenged in court by the Lexington Herald-Leader, which was delivering a free, unsolicited Wednesday “Community” section to driveways throughout Central Kentucky. The newspaper lost a court challenge to the law, and City Attorney Bill Moore said he felt more confident now that the Versailles ordinance would pass muster in court.

Bids

After the council unanimously approved a low bid of $109 per ton for salt from Compass Minerals America, Inc., of Kansas, Simmons was asked what the city paid for salt last year. Between $58 and $60 per ton, he said, then added, “I hope we have a mild winter.”

Appointment

Jonell Raglin’s appointment to the Code Enforcement Board was unanimously confirmed.

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