Commonwealth Journal

Local News

April 6, 2013

Burnside now a fourth-class city

(Continued)

Burnside —

“But when you look at what a community needs, it needs a grocery store, it needs a lot ofd things that a community twice or three times our population does.”
Being fourth-class could help the city get more. Jones pointed out that loans and grants from the state — as well as federal agencies — would now be easier to acquire.
“My understanding is that loan grants are based on classification,” he said. “A fourth-class city has A, B, C class bonds. It’s a higher rating, and they’re more likely to reach term. We’ll qualify for a better interest rate.”
It could also affect the town’s ability to serve alcohol. As it is, Burnside could only serve alcohol by the drink in restaurants that primarily serve meals, with no less than 70 percent of profits coming from food. Jones noted that the change might allow restaurants to make it a 50-50 split — which means less concern about purchasing a bag of pretzels with every drink, as one might find to be the case when dining in Burnside. The “only town on Lake Cumberland” might also have the opportunity to hold an option election to go fully “wet” to sell alcohol in a retail store setting, something not possible when the city was fifth-class.
According to Jones, fourth-class is the “sweet spot” among city classifications in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.
“Everybody like the League of Cities says that all these cities want to be fourth-class,” said Jones, “because you’re allowed to govern yourself more and not be held to some of the more restrictive things that second- and third-class cities are.”
Of course, the proposal for a unified city-county government introduced Thursday by Somerset-Pulaski County United could stand to alter the way Burnside moves forward. Right now, plans are only to conduct a study to see if a consolidated government would be more effective in this county. If such a merge did come to pass in the next few years, however, Burnside as its citizens currently know it, governmentally, may cease to be.

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