By: Madison Fugate
The city of Stanton advertised for a need for a police officer last month. Fortunately for the city council, they received an application that was qualified for the job and the entire council was in favor of hiring the applicant, who has a history of working with the state police, Grant Faulkner. Mayor Allen informs the board Faulkner will be ready to begin his new position at the 1st of October. The chief of police was also present and gave his recommendation to hire Faulkner for said position as well.
Mayor Allen then informs there was some questioning as to where the city limits ended on a roadway the city has managed for many years now. He references it as “The old county road that led to the old county dump” and also as West Halls Road. City Attorney, Scott Graham, adds to Allen’s statement and further explains to the board, “We have always treated it as a city street, but something came up. Mr. Tuttle was kind of interested in opening the roadway up and he thought maybe the city roadway ran all to his property, which it couldn’t because his property is outside of city limits. Once we got looking at it, to see how far the road actually ran, we realized like several of these streets the city has been up-keeping for 50, 60, or 70 years, there was never actually an ordinance done adopting that into city limits. Since that’s been open for a period of more than 5 years and the city has always treated it as a city street. We can go ahead and do an ordinance and just formally make it a city street.” There was a first reading for this ordinance and there will be a publication in the paper.
Also at this meeting, Mayor Allen informed the city council there were 10 applicants for the full-time position of a City of Stanton Tourism and Convention Commission Director. They came down to 6 interviews and then narrowed that list down to 2 applicants, being Jennifer Rose and Natalie Faulkner, that were asked to come back again for a more in-depth interview. On Wednesday, August 12th, the Stanton Tourism and Convention Commission board had a closed-session meeting to discuss these candidates and were to vote in a special called public setting after that. Their selection would then be forwarded to the mayor and city council for appointment of said position. During the Stanton Tourism and Convention Commission meeting, there was a 4-1 vote. After much consideration between the two candidates, four of the members of this tourism board voted for Natalie Faulkner and one member voted for the next candidate. Ultimately, Natalie Faulkner would be the applicant presented to city council as per recommendation of the Stanton Tourism and Convention Commission. A motion was carried for the nomination of Natalie Faulkner by the Stanton City Council at the city’s meeting on August 13th, 2020.
There was a first reading for the 2020 property tax rate ordinance in order to establish tax rates. This ordinance includes property tax rates and tax rates within the city limits for use of general and municipal purposes within the city of Stanton. The city council seems to agree that now is not a good time to raise taxes as a result of the pandemic, however, Mayor Allen informs the council “At some point, whether we’re here or whether we’re not, this will probably have to increase one day.” According to the language of this ordinance, it’s within the city council’s discretion as to when taxes should raise, according to Allen.
There was a member of the Parks and Recreation board present to update the city council on recent decisions made by the Parks and Recreation board. They voted to “okay” a fall baseball league. This is for age ranges: 5-8 year-olds and the registration window is from August 14th until August 31st. Practice begins on September 8th with the first game being planned for September 14th. The park is allowed 50 spectators present at each game per safety guidelines. It is said that sanitizer and other safety equipment have already been supplied and are ready for use. The representation on behalf of Parks and Recreation also informed the city council that the older age group of kids are not playing as per the coaches’ decision, explaining the coaches’ belief that the KHSAA recommendations would be too difficult to maintain for the duration of the season. Mayor Allen states if the teams and coaches are not able keep up with guidelines following the pandemic for the fall league, there will be no other option other than to cancel.
An additional recreational event that also received the “okay” by Parks and Recreation was to host an “open-mic night” with plans to clean the microphone in between use. Music in the Park is then mentioned. Mayor Allen and others present are pleased with the ability to still provide this to the public safely and that Music in the Park has done so well this season considering the pandemic. Also related to the parks and recreation, the playgrounds are still being sanitized thoroughly daily. The basketball courts will remain closed due to the inability to social distance while using.