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Council members hear plea to help ‘Foster’ drama

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Mayor says donation to drama association may come up at future meeting

By Frank Johnson

Bardstown City Council members heard about a request for donations to the Stephen Foster Drama Association, maintenance on the city’s cable TV lines and possible zoning changes for two new downtown businesses at a work session Tuesday.

Nicky Rapier, chairman of the Stephen Foster Drama Association, asked the board for help in raising additional funds for the organization’s operations. Rapier did not ask for a specific number, but Mayor Dick Heaton said the appeal might be taken up at one of the council’s regular meetings later in the month.

In addition to “The Stephen Foster Story,” the drama association will be staging a production of “The Wizard of Oz” this summer. Heaton said the association must pay a relatively high licensing fee up front to put on the much-loved play.

The drama association has already received a financial boost from other local government agencies. At its Nov. 16 meeting,  Nelson County Fiscal Court agreed to give the non-profit group $30,000. At the time, Judge Executive Dean Watts said fiscal court was fulfilling an agreement made in July 2009 to aid the drama association if able.

The city will soon be undertaking steps to improve the infrastructure used to carry cable signals. City Electrical Engineer Jeff Mills told the council he is taking bids for a company to come in and do a “system alignment sweep.”

A regular maintenance item, the sweep will use a diagnostic machine to see if there are places where the cable signal is “leaking out.” Assistant City Administrator Larry Green said this could be caused by connectors that aren’t tight enough, a piece of wire that is split or a piece of machinery that is out of tune.

 “There are 51 nodes or sections of cable. It’s more than we can do ourselves,” Green said.

The cost of the project is included in the city’s budget for the year. Although the city has not received a final bill yet, Green said he expects it to run about $100,000.

The council also reviewed two recommendations made by the Joint City-County Planning and Zoning Commission. The commission has approved a request by restaurant owners Merima and Dzevad Kreso concerning two new establishments they plan to open downtown.

The rezoning to B-2/PUD Central Business District will allow the two properties, 118 and 120 N. Third Street, to serve “liquor by the drink” and operate a full-service bar. There was no substantial discussion of the rezoning by the council members, and the request will be taken up by the city council at a future regular meeting.

After discussing the three items, the council members adjourned into closed session to discuss the possible acquisition or sale of property. Incoming city council members Fred Hagan and Joe Buckman were present at the meeting and stayed for the closed session.

Heaton said the city council members talked about two pieces of real estate and asked Hagan and Buckman to prepare a report on one of the properties. Since Hagan worked as an engineer and Buckman is a local builder/developer, Heaton said, they have some expertise in the area.