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City cracks down on stolen items

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Monday was Allen’s last regular meeting as mayor, Young takes over in January.

By James Roberts

Thieves will soon have a harder time selling their ill-gotten gains in Campbellsville.

During Monday night's regular meeting, City Council members had first reading of an amendment to last year's pawnshop ordinance, an amendment that broadens the types of businesses that must keep electronic records.

Passed in August 2009, the original ordinance required pawnbrokers to keep computer records of all the items they take in and sell.

Campbellsville Police have partnered with LeadsOnline and, by using that web service, items received by pawnshops are entered daily into an electronic database, giving police officers and pawnbrokers nationwide access to information about the items. This enables police to track down stolen items quicker and allows pawnshop employees to see if an item they are buying has been reported as stolen.

Campbellsville Police Chief Dennis Benningfield said the ordinance helped police recover three stolen items just last week, including a $5,000 camera and equipment stolen from a vehicle.

This past August, Benningfield asked the Council to amend the ordinance to include secondhand stores, jewelry and scrap metal dealers. After some delay in getting a model ordinance to review, the Council was finally able to have first reading of the amendment Monday.

Benningfield said there are several businesses that buy and sell used items, but, by definition, are not pawnshops. As an example, he cited Game Stop, which buys and sells used video games and movies.

Theft of jewelry, electronics and scrap metal such as copper is an ongoing problem, Benningfield said. Adding secondhand stores and precious metal and scrap metal dealers to the ordinance could help curb thefts of those items.

The amendment would not include businesses that deal in clothing, home furnishings and kitchen appliances.

Councilman Mike Hall Jr. pointed out that pawnshops are required by state law to keep records, but the other businesses included in the amendment are not.

"This is a new burden on the other businesses," he said.

But the overall benefit is greater, Councilman Stan McKinney said.

"This will benefit the citizens," he said. "It also protects the businesses."

Benningfield agreed.

"It gives us a greater percentage of recovering [stolen] items," he said.

 

Also on the agenda:

  • The Council approved the October financial report. Revenue for the month - $1,135,524 - is above budget - $1,255,912. At $3.2 million, year-to-date revenue is above budget by about $200,000.
  • Expenses - $769,076 - are below budget - $794,804. At $2.6 million, year-to-date expenses are about $100,000 less than budgeted.
  • As of Monday, the City has collected $754,546.62 in property taxes, Campbellsville Mayor Brenda Allen said. In addition, $637,000 in occupational taxes have been collected.
  • City employees will get an extra paid holiday next year. The Council approved adding President's Day to the list of paid holidays.
  • The holiday will cost the City an estimated $13,410.16, which includes $4,213.84 in Campbellsville Water Co. costs.
  • The Council approved the purchase of a backhoe for $46,422.85. With a list price of $128,607, state pricing earns the City a $70,733.85 discount. The City will also receive $25,000 for a trade-in of an old backhoe. Delivery will cost $689.
  • The Council approved a 63-month lease at $471 per month for a folder/inserter for the Water Co. The equipment will be leased from Scot Mailing and Shipping Systems. Purchased in 2002, the current machine has become problematic, resulting in three service calls in the past month. The machine is used to fold and insert more than 10,000 water bills and notices each month.
  • McKinney provided Council members with information regarding new federal regulations requiring that all street signs use title case - a mix of upper- and lower-case letters - instead of all capital letters.
  • Allen said the roof of the structure at 118 W. Main St. is caving in and that it needs to be demolished. The property was donated to the City by Elizabeth Mikowski. City Attorney John Bertram said that the City's acceptance of the property was contingent upon receiving a clear title, which hasn't happened yet. Allen said it would cost the City $6,300 to demolish the building. The Council took no action because the property doesn't yet belong to the City.
  • In August, Allen said, Kentucky Heartland Outreach had intended on renovating the building and using it for storage. However, once the roof began caving in, renovation became too expensive.
  • The Council had first reading of two voluntary annexations - Lot 14 of Meadowview Subdivision and two tracts of land near Heartland Commerce and Technology Park.
  • The Council approved nine resolutions and three ordinances relating to updating descriptions of previous annexations. The updates are required by the state.
  • Resident and former Campbellsville mayor Paul Osborne thanked the Council, Allen and Bertram for their years of service to the City.
  • Allen presented gifts to outgoing Council members Paul Harmon and Sue Smith, who did not seek re-election, and Bertram, who will step down as City attorney to begin serving as County attorney next year.
  • The meeting also marked Allen's final regular meeting. Her term as mayor comes to a close at the end of the year.
  • "I can't tell you how lucky I've been to serve with such wonderful people," Allen said.
  • Allen recognized incoming City Council members Vicki Mullins and Greg Rice and Mayor-elect Tony Young, all of whom were in attendance.
  • All Council members attended the meeting.