Bardstown City Council approves amendment to increase city budget

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By Randy Patrick

Councilwoman Kecia Copeland had to excuse herself from a Bardstown City Council meeting Tuesday during final approval of a budget amendment.

One of the reasons for the amendment was to cover a $40,000 settlement with Copeland to absolve the city and its officials and employees — past and present — of any liability involving actions taken against her during the administration of former Mayor John Royalty, who was removed from office by the council.

Those accusations include invasion of her privacy, violation of other rights and defamation. Most of those charges involved the mayor confiscating her city-issued iPad under false pretenses, reading her personal emails and sharing her personal information with other persons.

Also included in the budget amend are Fire Department grants and other unanticipated revenues and expenditures.

The amendment increases general fund revenues from $10.5 million to $10. million and expenses from $10.4 million to $10.5 million. It increases combined utilities revenue from $42.9 million to $43 million and expenditures from $42.6 million to $42.7 million.

During a discussion of money, Tracy Hudson, the city’s finance officer, said that Linda Gray, the certified public accountant who handles the city’s annual audit, should have a “rough draft” available to present by Dec. 1.

Media job created

Hannah Bowman, who has been working part-time for the city doing media work, is becoming a full-time employee.

On Tuesday the council, by municipal order, created the job of marketing and communications specialist in administration.

The job includes working with all departments on content for social media and the website, graphic design and production of print and video content.

Halloween events

Copeland asked if bigger neighborhoods in the city could close off streets during trick-or-treating on Halloween, Oct. 31, but was told it was probably too close to the event to make that change for this year, but in the future it could designate a slower-driving time during the hours when children would be out on the streets, said City Attorney Tim Butler.

Councilman John Kelley said the city should this year remind motorists to use caution and slow down.

Mayor Dick Heaton reminded those present that the Guthrie Opportunity Center would again host a free Halloween party where children can come in costume and get candy, and that it will be 3-7 Friday, Oct. 27, instead of on Halloween, which is the following Tuesday.

The Main Street Program’s Halloween Spooktacular is also Friday, beginning with downtown trick-or-treating 4-6 p.m. It also includes a party at the Bardstown Farmers Market Pavilion starting at 5 with a movie at 7.

Historical reviews

The council affirmed the Bardstown Historic Review Board’s approvals for 20 Schemes, a church mission to Scotland, at 204 W. Broadway; Rachel Miller at 103 and 206 E. Stephen Foster Ave.; and Brandie Miller for 301-303 W. Stephen Foster Ave.

NAACP to be honored

Janet Tonge informed city officials that the newly formed NAACP chapter for Nelson County would be recognized at the annual Human Rights Commission awards night and essay contest presentation, and invited them to attend.

The event will be at 6 p.m. at the Civic Center on South Third.

Police work praised

Councilman Joe Buckman commended Police Chief Kim Kraeszig and her department for quick work in catching the culprit who torched his tenants’ SUV, vandalized other tenants’ cars and stole a van.

The city’s use of social media played a role in locating and arresting Shane Helm of Bardstown last week.

Kraeszig said it was an example of community-oriented policing at its best.

“Within 24 hours, we had a criminal behind bars” thanks to the community’s help, she said.