The LaFollette City Council elected to continue with construction of the Pleasant Ridge Bridge Tuesday night.
The project is planned to be an even match of county and city funds. City Administrator David Young said Campbell County Road Superintendant Dennis Potter wanted a guarantee for engineering fees before the project can be bid.
Bidding for the bridge will cost approximately nine-percent of the total bridge cost, said Young. If the bridge costs $100,000, then engineering fees would be $9,000. The city’s share of the fee would be about $4,500.
Councilman Hansford Hatmaker made a motion to pay half of the engineering fees. Hatmaker emphasized the city needed to know what the cost of the bridge is before they can continue further with Pleasant Ridge Bridge construction. The council approved the motion.
Next on the agenda was discussion on extending the library hours. Library Director Nancy Green addressed the council, saying the issue would need to be approved by the library board before hours could be extended.
Another important impediment to extending the library hours was that no public restrooms were available at the library, said Green. Mayor Mike Stanfield suggested the patrons could use the portable restrooms in the parking lot.
Green continued to appeal to the council by quoting codes that allowed the library board to make all decisions affecting the library.
Stanfield stated several times the library board did not provide money to the city, questioning its authority over the public library.
“I am definitely not against the library being open on Saturdays, but I want you to be aware that this would be an illegal opening if you go against the library board and if you open it without a public restroom,” said Green
Councilman Joe Bolinger, who first requested Saturday hours at the library, noted that if the council was operating a facility without public restrooms then they were already in violation of the state codes. Hatmaker clarified the restrooms in the city building were used by the library patrons.
The council voted to prolong discussion of extending library hours until June. Therefore, the library board could be made aware of the possible change and a plan for restrooms could be decided. City Attorney Reid Troutman agreed with the council’s decision to put of the discussion.
As the meeting continued, Stanfield read a proclamation declaring the week of June 7 through 13 as National Garden Week. This was done at the request of the Town and Country Garden Club.
In addition to the proclamation read by the mayor, the council voted to apply for a 100 percent stimulus package for neighborhood demolition of old houses. The grant could be used to tear down dilapidated houses within the city of Lafollette.
The council also approved to spend about $2,000 for performers at the downtown jam this summer. Money to fund the outdoor performances was found in several places were the city budget may be in excess, such as gasoline expenditures.
In addition to approving spending money on the downtown jam, the council approved the 2007-08 audit report.
In the final item for administration the council agreed to set up a meeting with John Dunaway to discuss the hospital lawsuit. Troutman told the council an executive session would be planned with Dunaway and the council at the next meeting.
A public hearing held prior to the meeting was set to discuss the several ordinances approved during the meeting. No comments were made in the public hearing and the council approved the third reading of a sewer use ordinance and an ordinance amending the uses in the C-2 zone.
The council approved the first and second reading of an ordinance to amend the zoning map. The ordinance would correct another ordinance that rezoned territory wrongly annexed.
A resolution to take part in the Interlocal agreement TML Risk Pool was also approved by the council. Young said the resolution would allow the city to purchase competitive liability insurance and workman’s compensation.
For the street department the city voted to promote Tim Hall, Tony Huddleston and Casey Boshears to the positions of equipment operators.
The individuals are very dependable, skilled and overdue for a promotion, according to Public Works Director Jim Mullens.