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Be careful with your leaves

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Residents must properly dispose or be fined

By James Roberts

Be careful what you do with those raked leaves or yard clippings. You could be fined.

Campbellsville City Council members unanimously approved the second reading of a storm water erosion prevention ordinance during its regular meeting Monday. The ordinance has a bearing on both construction and regular property maintenance.

Required by the Clean Water Act, the ordinance seeks to regulate any land disturbance activity and site work construction within Campbellsville, keeping runoff and other forms of pollution out of water bodies.

"We're going to be drinking that water ultimately," Mayor Brenda Allen said.

Under the Clean Water Act, cities with a population greater than 10,000 are required to have a storm water permit. Part of the process mandates an erosion prevention ordinance. If the City doesn't adopt an ordinance, Mayor Brenda Allen said, it could be fined up to $25,000 a day.

The City must pass the ordinance, but the County doesn't, Councilman Stan McKinney pointed out. However, City Attorney John Bertram said that counties would likely have to pass a storm water ordinance in the future.

According to the ordinance, the purpose of the regulation is to prevent pollution of streams, which reduces water quality and endangers aquatic life. Erosion also leads to increased sewer, ditch, sinkhole and drywell problems, while sediment on streets and roads poses a hazard to the public.

Under the erosion prevention law, any project that is less than an acre would be governed by the City and would not require a state permit. However, a local permit must be obtained at a cost of up to $100 for the first six months and $50 for each additional six months. Costs depend on the size of the project.

City permits would not be required for existing nursery or agricultural purposes or emergency activities necessary for the protection of life, property or natural resources.

But the ordinance also applies to several non-construction issues as well. Discharge of garbage, yard waste, trash, leaves, grass clippings and animal waste into any drainage area is also prohibited. Drainage areas include dry creek beds that only contain water during rainfall.

Allen said the City picks up grass clippings and leaves, while local farmers often pick up bags of leaves for bedding and other uses on the farm.

Fines for violating the ordinance can be as much as $1,000.

Allen said the City has already begun a public awareness campaign, which started with inserts in water bills and will also include public meetings.

City to study public transportation

Councilman Randy Herron said several residents have told him that a public transportation service is needed in Campbellsville, especially for the elderly and university students.

"Hopefully, we could look at the possibility of seeking some sort of low-cost transportation service," Herron said.

Herron said some cities offer public transportation at $1 to $2 per person. He said grant money is available for start-up costs and a franchise is also an option.

While the County does have transportation providers, Herron said, there isn't a 'round-the-clock public service.

Herron and Councilwoman Sue Smith were appointed to a committee to study the issue.

Environmental credits

Allen and Bertram told the Council about a carbon credit program the City is considering.

Environmental Credit Corp., Allen said, would burn methane produced at the City's landfill, reducing harmful emissions into the environment. By doing that, the City could sell its environmental credits to another City that is polluting the environment. This would give that City time to develop and implement a plan to reduce harmful emissions.

Bertram said essentially the program allows cities to pollute the environment as long as they are taking steps to prevent it.

The program would not cost the City anything.

Optimist Club

Councilman Paul Harmon told the Council that he wanted to start an Optimist Club and invited anyone interested to attend the club's meetings every Thursday at Creek Side Restaurant at 7 p.m. Harmon said the club has about seven members now, but needs 25.

Harmon said the club would take on community improvement and youth-oriented projects such as repairing and replacing playground equipment and resurfacing tennis courts.

"For those who want to do something, this is a way," Harmon said.

Also on the agenda:

- Resident Donna Hash spoke to the Council about its nuisance ordinance. Hash said she received a letter about tall bushes on her property. While the problem has since been resolved, Hash said several other properties with the same complaint have not. Hash said she has a list of offending properties.

"Why does the ordinance apply to some and not others?" she asked.

Allen assured her that the ordinance applied equally to all. Bertram asked Hash to share the list with him and he would discuss it with building official Kenny Phillips.

- In his report to the Council, Team Taylor County Executive Director Ron McMahan said Campbellsville remains on the short list of a prospective foreign industry. Meanwhile, McMahan said, he has provided information to a call center prospect. He also presented Allen and the Council a plaque in appreciation of the City's in-kind labor on the Heartland Commerce and Technology Park entrance road.

McKinney asked McMahan if local employers had been affected by the economic crisis. McMahan said there have been no layoffs of full-time personnel, just temporary staff.

"We've been pretty successful," McMahan said. "Everyone is hanging on to their full-time employees."

- The Council approved several resolutions regarding construction of a raw water intake structure. The $2.2 million dollar project will be funded by state and federal sources - a $335,000 USDA Rural Development grant, a $334,000 USDA Rural Development loan and $1.6 million in Kentucky Infrastructure Authority grant money.

- The Council has declared as surplus a 1995 Ford F-150 four-wheel drive pickup and a tract of property, which is bordered by other properties owned by Johnson Motors and property owned by Chuck French.

- The Council approved a municipal order establishing the City as a drug-free workplace. Adopting the measure will save the City $13,950 on its liability insurance.

- Next April, Campbellsville will offer a paramedic class for the first time, Allen said, preventing those interested from traveling hundreds of miles for the training.

- Staff Writer James Roberts can be reached at 465-8111 Ext. 226 or by e-mail at writer@cknj.com. Comment on this story at www.cknj.com.