Science Hill resident wants cleanup ordinance to cover more than subdivisions

Janie Slaven | CJ

Pulaski County Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator Danny Masten (left) gives a brief history of County Ordinance 930.2, which governs the cleanup of overgrown lots in subdivisions. Citizen Ray Johnson (right) wants Fiscal Court to amend the ordinance so that properties that aren't in a subdivision can also be covered.

Pulaski County's cleanup ordinance could be revisited, if one local citizen has his way.

Ray Johnson of Science Hill asked members of Fiscal Court on Tuesday to do something about a neighboring property, which he says has grown up to cover multiple vehicles as well as overturned barrels of oil.

"It's a nuisance where I live," Johnson said, adding he was also concerned on behalf of two special needs children who also live nearby. "It is degrading my property and property owners beside them."

While the ordinance does allow for removal of discarded or abandoned items, it is mostly utilized for mowing overgrown lots -- specifically in subdivisions. Earlier in the meeting, Litter Enforcement Officer Misty Wilson presented multiple properties (Lots 7-12 as well as another property on Summit Pointe) for mowing in the Neal Haney Subdivision which belong to the same property owner.

Johnson told the court that by restricting the ordinance to subdivisions, which doesn't apply in his case, county officials are using money from all taxpayers in order to take care of only part of the county's citizens.

The ordinance -- last updated in 2012 -- can be amended, but officials must first determine the feasibility of covering the entire county. According to Solid Waste/Recycling Coordinator Danny Masten, the county obtains liens on the properties cleaned up through the ordinance but rarely collects from them. While he said the ordinance isn't perfect, he noted the county expends a great deal to clean up lots which meet the criteria for the ordinance as currently written. The presence of oil, Masten continued, could prompt contaminant intervention from the Kentucky Division of Waste Management.

Pulaski County Judge-Executive Steve Kelley expressed sympathy for Johnson's plight and offered to meet with Masten as well as a couple of the magistrates to look at the ordinance to address what is feasible.

"It's just a matter of spending money and having to spend it countywide if we can absorb that," Kelley said. "We will look at that for you and try to see what we can do to help more."

In other business, magistrates:

• approved a resolution for the purchase of three new dump trucks for the County Road Department and one for the Solid Waste Department as part of the revolving program the county now has to replenish its fleet. Deputy Judge-Executive Dan Price explained that the old trucks will be auctioned off through JM Wood Auction Company with new trucks purchased through Worldwide Equipment. County Treasurer Joan Isaacs noted that the last auction the county had trucks in made the county $42,000.

• approved the 2018 Pulaski County Sheriff's Tax Audit as well as a motion authorizing Sheriff Greg Speck to print property tax bills collecting the newly-set tax rates. Isaacs noted that the latter motion was new and at Sheriff Speck's request, possibly due to an auditor comment.

• approved speed limits for the following District 4 roads: Bend of Lakes (25 mph), Chimney Rock (25 mph), Squib Ano (25 mph) and Elihu Cabin Road (35 mph to Dry Branch Road, then 25 mph after).

• approved a $300,000 transfer from the Fire Fund to the General Fund.

• hired Tyler Moore as skilled labor to replace an employee who was terminated following an executive session.

• approved for surplus a 1983 Rolls Royce, Audi, and 2005 Honda Accord from drug forfeiture cases investigated by District 5 Constable Mike Wallace. Magistrates also accepted donations from the constable of a forfeited four-wheeler to the Nancy Volunteer Fire Department and a golf cart to Pulaski County Park.

• approved trick-or-treating hours as 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday, October 31 (Halloween).

• were advised that two insurance bids had been received and would be reviewed by the Insurance Committee.

Recommended for you