Very little happened at the April meeting of the Burnside City Council — little more than a few reminder about upcoming events.
However, Mayor Ron Jones did have one very significant announcement to make: The meeting was Burnside’s first as a fourth-class city.
Of course, how long Burnside remains a city at all may depend on factors well beyond its borders.
“Yes sir,” said Jones when asked if he was excited about moving up in classification. “We’re looking forward to the opportunity to explore all the advantages of being a fourth-class city and to move the town further forward than it’s moved so far.”
It was a long process — a year long. In February of 2012, the City of Burnside first started making a real push to be bumped up in the classification ranks.
The Kentucky Constitution used to set up city classification based on population size, but that section was repealed in 1994, and the legislature was given the authority to assign city-size classifications. As such, city officials can make a case to the state legislature to be moved to the classification that they feel best suits them, and the lawmakers can vote on the motion.
State Sen. Chris Girdler of Pulaski County brought Burnside’s request up for a vote in late March. Needless to say, it was approved.
State guidelines have fourth-class cities with a population of between 3,000 to 8,000 residents. Fifth-class cities, as Burnside previously was, have between 1,000 and 3,000.
Though the town had a permanent population of a little over 600 at the time of the 2010 census, the numbers are deceiving according to Jones — and Burnside actually has a much more abundant town, depending upon the time of year.
“We worked awfully hard on getting it, gathering information to be presented to the legislature,” said Jones. “Our population goes way up during the summer. About 20 percent (of the citizenship), I’d say we’re a second home to them. Right across the street from me, I’d say there are about four homes that are summertime homes. We’ve got a lot of residents, but not really full-time residents.