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Campbellsville City Council members had first reading of an ordinance to regulate yard sales at its meeting Monday night. Council members Mike Hall Jr., Dave Nunery and Patti Phillips were appointed to a committee last August to review yard sale issues and make a recommendation.
"Contrary to what I saw on some social media, the purpose of this ordinance is not to tax yard sales," Hall said. "That was really never anything to do with what we're trying to accomplish."
Hall said there are several concerns from neighborhoods within city limits, where there are some yard sales that go on more or less every weekend during the summer. He said these continuous yard sales aren't in harmony with the nature of these areas.
According to Hall, many traffic problems have resulted from shoppers who park on right-of-ways and in the middle the street during peak traffic times. The blocked roadways and even the signs advertising the yard sales have caused some automobile collisions.
"We really have no idea a lot of times to know who is in charge or immediately responsible," Hall said. "If there was an issue with signs or there was an issue with traffic, who do you talk to address the problems?"
Hall said the ordinance will address this by requiring anyone planning to host a yard sale to apply for a permit at City Hall. The permits would be free and valid for three days. The permit would be required to be prominently displayed at the location of the sale.
The proposed ordinance states that it will be presumed that items purchased within six months of the application for the permit have been purchased for the sole purpose of resale.
Fines for violating the ordinance range from $25 to $250.
Hall said the main purpose of the permits is to know when and where each yard sale is going to be and who is responsible. When the permits are issued, the host of the yard sale will be given a copy of the ordinance and a yard sale safety sheet.
Councilmen Randy Herron and Stan McKinney voiced concerns about the ordinance not containing a limit to the number of permits a person can apply for.
"I'm a simple kind of guy," McKinney said. "I just think a restriction on the number per year would be better."
According to Hall, the committee is reluctant to put a limit on the number of yard sales because it will be difficult say how many yard sales are appropriate. Hall said the Council could use the first year to get a better grasp of how many yard sales are reasonable.
He said the permits will also allow law enforcement officials to keep an eye on those who might be operating resale operations out of their homes disguised as yard sales.
"The question will arise, are you selling your own things or are you purchasing things for resale?" Hall said.
Search continues for Mullins' replacement
Vicki Mullins' resignation from the Campbellsville City Council became official at the Council's regular meeting Monday night, but a replacement to fill her vacant seat has yet to be appointed.
Mullins announced her resignation last week after selling her home and an anticipated move outside of the city limits that will make her no longer eligible to serve. Campbellsville Mayor Tony Young presented her with an engraved nameplate at the meeting to honor her service to Campbellsville.
The Council could have appointed Mullins' replacement during Monday's meeting but after the Council met in closed session for about 35 minutes, no action was taken.
A special meeting to discuss the appointment of a new member is scheduled for Tuesday at 6 p.m. at the Campbellsville Civic Center. Because the meeting is a special one, only items on the agenda can be discussed.
If the Council fails to appoint a replacement by the 30-day deadline, the decision will be passed to Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear.
Young said those interested in filling the seat should contact City Hall.
Mullins' replacement will serve for the remainder of her term, which ends Dec. 31. Once that term expires, the winners of the Nov. 4 election will begin a new term on Jan. 1. The deadline to file for City Council is Jan. 28.
Last January, the Council appointed Diane Ford-Benningfield, the next-highest vote getter in the November 2012 election after 12 candidates were elected, to fill the seat left vacant by the late Vangie Ford. The second-highest vote getter in the November 2012 election was Randy Bricken Jr. However, the Council is not obligated to use the same method to appoint Mullins' replacement.
See more from the meeting in Monday's issue.