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City Council

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By James Roberts

Those planning large construction projects will soon have to seek out another permit.

Campbellsville City Council members heard first reading of an erosion prevention ordinance during their regular meeting Tuesday.

Under the federal Clean Water Act, cities with a population greater than 10,000 are required to have a storm water permit. Part of the process requires 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 ordinance would regulate any land disturbance activity and site work construction within Campbellsville.

"Anytime you dig, you must make sure it doesn't go into the water," Allen said.

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 resource.

Projects larger than an acre would have to be issued a permit by the state, said Susie Bradley, supervisor of the Campbellsville Water Co. wastewater treatment plant.

The ordinance will prevent damage to the environment by "controlling the design, construction, use and maintenance of any development or other activity that disturbs or breaks topsoil or results in the movement of earth on land."

Bradley said the storm water permit is based on population density, so it doesn't apply outside the City limits.

"It would just be a cooperative effort with the County at this point."

Councilman Stan McKinney questioned the effectiveness the City's ordinance could have.

"I can't help but wonder how effective it's going to be if the County doesn't have to do it," he said.

Local Alcoholic Beverage Control officer Ed Miladin, who will help enforce the ordinance along with Bradley and codes enforcement officer Kenneth Adams, said current laws would require a permit for any project larger than one acre.

"If it is less than an acre, they would still have to follow EPA guidelines," Miladin said.

Tax rates set

Pending final approval, the City's tax rates will be slightly lower this year.

The rate for real property will be .191 per $100 assessed value. Last year's rate was set at .192.

Personal property will be taxed at a rate of .181. Last year's rate was set at .185.

The motor vehicle/water craft rate will be 19.3 cents.

The rates are expected to produce $875,359.76 in revenue, an increase of $44,230.30 over last year's rates.

Also on the agenda:

- The Council approved a new employee health plan which would save the City $20,000 a month.

Under the new plan, for an employee, the City would pay a $1,250 deductible and the employee would pay a $250 deductible.

For an employee and a child, the City would pay $2,600 and the employee would pay $400.

For family coverage, the City would pay $2,500, while the employee would pay $500.

After the deductibles are paid, the insurance would pay 100 percent of the medical costs.

Under the new coverage, Allen said, no employee would ever pay more than $500. Under the current plan, the maximum out-of-pocket is $2,000.

The plan takes effect in October.

- Prior to the meeting, City Council members took a tour through the Merchants Hotel, now known as Merchant Tower. Will and Karen Patton, who bought the building from the City in June, led the tour.

Mr. Patton told Council members that, once complete, the building's three floors would be home to offices, a restaurant and retail space.

- During the last two months, said Team Taylor County Executive Director Ron McMahan, a few existing businesses have considered expansions while a foreign prospect announced plans to visit the City soon to look at two existing buildings.

- Barry Bertram, Darrell Kemp and Greg Johnson were appointed to three-, two- and one-year terms on the Property Maintenance Code Enforcement Board, respectively.

- Two zone change requests - 1110 E. Broadway and 401 N. Jackson, both seeking a change from residence to business - were tabled. Council members asked for more information before proceeding.

- A special meeting was set for Monday, Sept. 8 at 7 p.m. in the City Council room above Campbellsville Police Department. The purpose of the meeting is to give final approval to tax rates and consider two zone change requests.

- 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.