Bloomfield City Council briefs from Aug. 14

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By Dennis George

Some Bloomfield residents may be receiving a higher property tax bill in the near future but they won’t be able to blame it on their city council.

That group voted on Monday to keep the tax rate the same as a year ago. The rate will be 32.8 cents per $100 of the property’s assessed value. Bardstown and Nelson Fiscal Court had previously decided to hold the line on raising their rates.

“Some of the property was reassessed by the PVA and that will be the reason for their increase on the bill,” City Clerk Jean Jury explained to the council.

The city will receive an extra $4,442 in the new fiscal year as a result of the vote. That amount is slightly less than it could have received if the council members had chosen to increase to the amount allowed by law without needing a public referendum. That rate would have been 32.9 cents.

The council debated its options before the vote, including selecting a compensating rate of 31.7 cents, which would have brought in about the same amount as the prior year.

Laura Barnett, who voted against maintaining the tax rate, preferred the compensating rate.

However, former mayor Denny Howard cautioned his fellow council members about lowering the rate.

“Once you lower the rate, you are stuck with that forever,” he said. “That is money that you will never get back. If you don’t need the money one year, you will never get that money back.”

The council did vote to take the compensating rate on tangible property.

There will be a public hearing to discuss the new tax rates at 6:25 p.m. on Sept. 11 just prior to the next council meeting.

Hagan Road residents to get city water

The council also agreed to begin running city water lines to Hagan Road once the six households pay the $1,000 meter fee.

“All financial requirements will be paid up front,” Mayor Rhonda Hagan said. “We have signatures that everyone wants the water but we need to make sure everyone is going to be on the water lines.”

Frank Cottrell, one of the homeowners on Hagan Road, assured the council his neighbors would be agreeable with making those payments promptly.

“I’ll have you my check for $1,000 here tomorrow,” he said.

Those residents made the request at the council’s July meeting.

Public Works Director Rick Jewell said Nelson County Judge-Executive Dean Watts and County Engineer Brad Spalding agreed to assume the engineering costs and help file the paperwork with the state’s Division of Water.

“It looks like it will be feasible to do the project,” Jewell said. “It will increase our revenue and we should be able to pay it out in 10-15 years. We have lines with fewer residents than this.”

The cost of the project will be approximately $45,000.

Jewell said the work could be completed by Christmas.

Tim Scroghan represented a group who lives on Ky. 1066 and wants the city to also extend water service to their area.

However, Jewell told them the city would not be able to run water lines to them because it is a private road.

“Before I got here, there were some lines run to private roads,” Jewell said. “A lot of people want water but if no one maintains the road, there would be times we can’t get to the lines if we need to.”

Mayor Hagan advised them to contact Watts about the county taking control of the road.

“After you become a county road, we can take it from there,” she said. “We will try to help you out as much as we can after that.”

In other news:

• Bloomfield received an $1,100 grant from the Bardstown-Nelson County Tourist Commission. The funds will be used to upgrade the banners in Bloomfield as they prepare for their bicentennial in 2019.

• The council formally approved its new job descriptions for city employees. They agreed with Howard’s recommendation to add “or any other work assigned” to the descriptions.