Hopkinsville City Council approved the second reading of the Fiscal Year 2019-2020 operational and capital budgets after the city proposed cuts across all city departments and agencies at previous meetings.

At a special-called Committee of the Whole meeting May 9, council members first discussed the newly proposed budgets. The operational budget will cut 5% of all city agencies' operational budgets, which will add a little over $70,000 to the operational budget, explained Hopkinsville Mayor Carter Hendricks.

Going along with that 5% cut to city agencies, city departments will also take a 4% cut to operational budgets. Those cuts add roughly $133,000 to the city's operational budget in order to cover additional costs of the state pension.

The new budget also includes a 20% decrease to the Inner City Rez fund based on its spending history, resulting in $100,000 cut from its usual $500,000.

On Tuesday, council members unanimously approved both second readings of the budgets, officially putting the new budget and its cuts in effect July 1.

Following that approval, however, the council approved amendments to both budgets.

The first amendment was to the total revenues and total expenses of the operational budget. The capital budget also showed changes to total revenues and total expenses.

The amendment for the operational budget would see total revenues amended from $37.8 million to $38.4 million. Total expenses reflect the exact same changes as revenues. The amendment for the capital budget sees total revenues changed from $3.2 million to $3.3 million while total expenses would be changed from $3,222,572 to $3,258,403.

The council also unanimously voted to approved those amendments, sending them to a second reading at the next council meeting before being put into effect.

Following those ordinances being approved, the council discussed at length a road closure that was met with concern by council members.

The council was presented with an ordinance, recommended by Community Development Services, that requests closing a portion of South Kentucky Avenue. The portion of the road begins at the Second Baptist Church and extends to the end of the church property.

However, this closure was met with concerns from council members who shared that a portion of the road is used by residents who live on South Kentucky Avenue to get to their homes.

Council members expressed worries that residents living in those homes would meet this closure with potential disagreement and have not been notified of the potential change.

As a result, Councilman Phillip Brooks suggested and made a motion that the ordinance be tabled until the next council meeting pending a notification to the residents of South Kentucky Avenue and the homes’ owners.

To go along with the notifications, the residents living on that street will be allowed and encouraged to attend the next city council meeting to share their concerns or approvals with council members during the public comments portion of the meeting.

Angela Herndon, the planning services coordinator for CDS, along with David Wimby from the church, shared with the council that the church plans to use that area of the road to add renovations to the church, more parking and an overhang and walkway for church members to walk under on their way to the parking lot on the other side of the South Kentucky Avenue entrance.

Brooks’ motion to table the ordinance and send out notifications to the residents of the road was unanimously approved by the council, and CDS will be sending those notifications via mail.

In other council business:

Herndon also presented a proposal to rezone a residential area just off Eagle Way to a general business district. The area is a 14.3-acre portion of property on Foston Chapel Road, approximately 1,450 feet from the intersection of Eagle Way and LaFayette Road.

Herndon said the portion of land is across from Tie Breaker Park and the Hopkinsville Fire Station on Eagle Way. No plans of what businesses would be moving into the area were given at the meeting, only that businesses are continuing to build on Eagle Way, and CDS planners believe the zone is inappropriately labeled as residential and isn’t being used as such.

Council members agreed to forward the request as an ordinance to the next council meeting for a first reading.

Reach Avery Seeger at 270-887-3236 or aseeger@kentuckynewera.com. Follow him on Twitter @AveryNewEra

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