By Cecil Pergram
The Clay City Council held a regular scheduled meeting May 15 in the Clay City Municipal Building.
Mayor Jimme Caudill called the meeting to order and the committee approved minutes and financial statements from January, February and March.
Jimmy Stone was present at the meeting on behalf of Kentucky River Foothills to see if the council would be open to deeding a particular piece of land where the city owns an alleyway dating back to the 1800s when the city of Clay City was first incorporated.
The Ky River Foothills is still in the preliminary stages of the project but was starting to look into the possibility of purchasing land on 10th Street and 8th Avenue.
The council said that typically when a land owner owns both sides of an alleyway the city will do a deed of transfer over the majority property owner.
The Clay City Council gave its approval to a prepared first reading of the Ordinance 16-05-15 regarding that issue.
The ordinance would transfer the piece of property 12.5 feet wide and 150 feet in length consisting of an old alleyway over to Kentucky Rivers Foothills for the purpose of building a daycare or the similar construction of a community based endeavor that would aid the city of Clay City.
The city of Clay City would retain rights to enter the property for purposes relating to the maintaining, removing, inspection, repairing or alternation of any water or sewer lines that may exist on the specific property.
The council approved the first reading of an ordinance to deed the land over to KY River Foothills and expressed a strong interest of completing a plat survey before the second reading of the ordinance at the next scheduled meeting.
“I want to express my opinion that I’m pleased that you are working here and that we have I don’t how many families being served by your housing and medical facilities that are being utilized.” Caudill said. “I’m tickled to death anytime that we can have any positive growth here.”
The council unanimously approved a proposal to switch companies that provide water analysis to Clay City Water and Sewer.
Clay City is currently getting analysis from McCoy & McCoy of Lexington but will be switching to Appalachian States Analytical LLC in Pikeville after the company offered to do the same services for an amount 20 percent less over the first year than what the city of Clay City is currently being charged.
The council also took the action of amending the the goals and objectives of the Clay City Zoning and Planning Committee. Mayor Caudill made a recommendation to approve the second draft of the original goals and objectives as presented to the council.
Also at the meeting there was a discussion of the topic of adopting an ordinance saying that farm animals are not allowed in Clay City limits and the difficulties specific to that particular subject.
The council suggested that the Clay City Zoning and Planning Committee will be working to explore options in the future including the option of designating parts of the city as commercial, agricultural and different degrees of residential zoning. Under that plan in some residential zoning areas it would be allowed to have backyard chickens, rabbits or other small animals in single family dwellings.
The council also discussed the option of grandfathering in those in the community that have traditionally had animals on their property in the past and restricting new residencies from having animals where they’re not allowed.
The council also discussed the option of adding provisions that if those grandfathered in under the old ordinances let their use of the land lapse for certain period of time that the use of the land couldn’t be reestablished and would be considered a zoning violation to potentially get rid those residents animals.
The council also made discussions about looking into nuisance ordinances to make a difference between a property owner on a 1/4 acre lot and a property owner with a 10 acre lot because as the council members put it what can exist on a 10 acre lot is a lot different than what could exist on 1/4 acre lot.
No action was taken by the council at this meeting on the subject further than the discussion.
The council approved a motion to allow the Parks and Recreation Committee to determine the location of where to place up 10 benches in the Clay City Park on Second Street.
The Parks and Recreation also wished to ask the Clay City Council to designate the property on 7th Street as a park and that after its designation as a park to name the park Lazarus Landing, after Lazarus Powell, who the county is named after.
The council said they had no reservations about the subject but wished to have a plat survey completed before bringing a motion to the table.
The council reached a consensus for the 2017 Riverfest Event to paint kayaks on the city streets between the new park and the city park so that those kayaking on the Red River can follow the trail of kayaks back and forth between the two locations.
Mayor Caudill acknowledged another guest present at the council meeting Paul Nesbitt from Nesbitt Engineering.
Clay City Mayor Jimmie Caudill told the council that Nesbitt had come to him a week prior and expressed interest in offering his companies assistance with any special interests projects the city may be planning in the future.
“I’ve been in business for 41 years, we represent quite a few different communities, and we will help you with your attorney to get funding.” Nesbitt said. “We have relationships with the funding agencies and my motto is ‘You tell us where you want to go and we’ll help you get there.'”
Nesbitt told the council about his personal experiences and background including how his family moved from Kentucky to Detroit, Michigan in search of jobs and later how he went to school at the University of Michigan before becoming a city engineer for the City of Hazard.
“My theory in being here is that I want to learn about you, I can’t just run in and do a project, I have to learn about you and see what the project is all about first.” Nesbitt said.
Mayor Caudill thanked Nesbitt for coming to the meeting and showing interest in what the city is trying do for the community.
“Anytime you select an engineering firm to go forward on a project you want to be sure that once you select somebody that it is going to go as smooth as possible.” Caudill said. “That’s not always the case. I deal with people all the time and there are definitely problems on occasion. We appreciate you coming.”
The council also addresses a dozen or so nuisance ordinances by recognizing them and issuing notices to local residents to attempt to get those issues corrected.