Tuesday, September 27, 2022

Hello everyone. By the time you read this it will officially be Fall. I love Fall. The mornings start crisp and cool, while still nice and warm during the day. 

A quick update on City Hall. It did go out to bid again, with the opening date of October 11, 2022. 

Someone asked me the other day about the possibility of the city trading land to the Library for them to build on, while City Hall could move into that building. 

I appreciate everyone trying to think outside the box, however, that scenario wouldn’t work. 

The new building will be much more than just the business office of the city. It will be our official Police Station also. 

I don’t know about you, but I fully support the police department, and will not short change them on what is an essential part of their job. Having a place to do all the business they need to do. 

There are codes that we must live by when building certain government buildings, especially police departments and fire departments. The library building would not meet the codes needed. 

Also, it just wouldn’t work well as a City Hall with the utility office. There could be no drive thru, which I know customers are missing sorely on extremely hot or cold days, and have to get out of their vehicles just to pay their water bill. 

We have many folks that have a hard time getting out and coming in to pay, whether because of disability, age, weather, etc. So the drive thru is essential. 

The auditor was here a few weeks back. He will give his report to the city council at an upcoming meeting yet to be determined. 

Mr. Lee stated, once again, that the city is in better financial health today than it has been in decades. 

Annexation is another topic that someone brought up to me recently. I’d like to see the big field at the south end of town annexed in to the city at some point in the near future. And I think it would be prudent for us to start having discussions about the possibility of annexing some of the areas at the north end of town also. 

As those of us who live in the city can attest, the property taxes are MUCH lower than county taxes. Of course, there are pros and cons to doing anything. That’s why I believe we should have discussions on this matter to see how it all shakes out. 

I know these topics are boring for most people, but letting you know what’s going on is important. When I started writing these articles, almost four years ago, I told you all that I would always tell you the truth, whether it hurts or not. 

That hasn’t changed. And neither have I. 

Thank you all for your time. 

You can always let me know if you have questions, concerns, or just want to talk about something. You can reach me at City Hall at 270- 864-5391 or email me at burkesvillemayor@gmail. com. 

 Hello everyone. As I sit to write this update on things going on with the city, my heart aches. We lost a niece this weekend due to an auto accident. I don’t usually share personal things in this column, but I would be remiss if I didn’t take this time to publicly ask for prayer, with good thoughts and energy, for Jayleigh’s mom, her entire family and friends. Thank you all for indulging me. 

We have put city hall out to bid two times already, with only one bidder. The company that placed the bid, from Russell Springs, waited until the last minute to write their final number down. As all bidders do. But this company used the situation to try and take advantage of our situation of only having one bidder. They came in at over $500 per sq. ft. Yep. Over $500. Our engineering firm stated that they had just accepted a bid for a two-story firehouse in Louisville, loaded with special necessities for $350 a sq. ft. 

The plans for city hall are straight forward. A basic box of a building split quite evenly between city hall and the police department. Block walls with brick veneer siding. Nothing really special. 

Their bid was a slap in the face to us at city hall, and to the town. If I have anything to do with it, we will never do business with that company. They expected us to negotiate. I don’t think so. 

I have spoken with the Kentucky League of Cities, and have been assured that the organization will do everything in its power to help find bidders for our project, and will work closely with the city in every way possible. We officially put it out to bid again on September 2nd. 

I spoke with a representative from the local ADD District about the highway safety plan they are putting together. Specifically about the need for a traffic light at Keen Street and Main. Please be careful at that intersection. Give the vehicle next to you room to see if traffic is coming in either direction. Pay attention and drive defensively. 

You may have noticed some trees at city park have had to be cut down recently. The trees had a bore that had infected them. They were smaller ash trees, with the tops totally dead and dangerous. We will replant a different variety of trees soon. 

The project called Potter’s Lift Station, located behind what was Potter’s Ace, is a pump station that pushes sewer contents from the south end of town, up to the wastewater plant. This station has been giving us problems for years. 

To accomplish a new pump station to be located beside the old one, there has to be access. The only place to access is to cross the 3 acre field behind IGA. 

My wife and I purchased that property almost 3 years ago just before Covid hit, in the hopes of building a restaurant there. We had no idea that an easement would need to be signed between the city and ourselves. Normally, in such a situation, a permanent easement would be completed with a monetary amount to the land owner. But we are NOT asking anything, and will donate that part of our land to the city for free. Sometimes it’s not about the money, no matter how much it might help. 

We are still sending out letters asking folks to clean up some nastiness, or cut their two foot high yards. We have, after the legal amount of warnings, starting getting the jobs done and placing mechanical liens on the properties in question. We are also going to start condemnation proceedings on a few. 

It was my privilege and honor to be able to sign a proclamation recognizing September as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month. 

Thank you all for your time. 

You can always let me know if you have questions, concerns, or just want to talk about something. You can reach me at City Hall at 270- 864-5391 or email me at burkesvillemayor@ gmail.com. 

Hello everyone. I hope everybody is making it through this heat okay. Make sure to keep checking on loved ones and your animals. 

The wastewater project is complete. That means we have new equipment at the sewer plant that will process everything as it should. The plant has the capacity to serve many more customers as we grow into the future. 

The city will be replacing a lift station at the south end of town. This lift station basically pushes sewage to the plant, and was installed many years ago. Since then the amount of businesses has doubled in that area, and the smaller pumps, and other mechanics, has a hard time keeping up. The new lift station will be up to date and should have no problem taking care of business. It is partially funded by the Clean Water Grant we received a few months ago, and also funded by more Covid money we are just being allotted, to be used for water infrastructure. 

I’ve had people ask me about the new development in the big field next to the bridge at the south end of town. Most of that field is in the county, but the city would be able to supply water to the entire area. The sewer system for that area would need to be built by the developer. Which would probably include a lift station just for that project itself. 

Speaking of the south end of town... I have spoken with the Transportation Department numerous times about the dangerous intersection at Keen, South Main, and Driftwood Drive. There were two more accidents there last week. The KYTC says that the intersection of 61 and 90 is too close to the Keen Street and South Main intersection. They say that a light cannot be installed at Keen Street because it might cause traffic problems at the nearby intersection. If I had my way, we’d go ahead and put a traffic light there and then see if it caused issues. Better a life saved, in my opinion. The only alternative I can see would be to move Highway 61 to overlap the end of Driftwood Drive, so that 61 would meet South Main at Keen Street. That would be a big project, but I don’t see why it couldn’t be done. 

The new bathrooms at the city park are now complete. Those have been a long time coming, and sorely needed. They are located between the batting facility and the snack stand. We’ve also been working on Hilltop Park recently. With plans to replace a couple of slides and build ramps at the bathrooms to make them more handicapped accessible. You’ll also notice we have installed signs there informing the public that there are security cameras in place. Hopefully that will alleviate some vandalism that this park has seen over the years. 

The city hall project is still out to bid. I’d love to see someone local get that bid, so if you know a company that might be interested in that project, send them my way, or to city hall. Money spent locally does so much more for our economy that if the company is from elsewhere. 

People keep asking about a fast food restaurant. To get one, someone has to invest in it. The city can’t open one. But we can, and will, work with whomever need be to find any legal way to help. There are people here that could open a fast food restaurant. I was happy to see that Dr. Rice and family have taken the reins at the Pool Room. I wish them all the luck and success. If we, as a community, really want some sort of fast food entity to open here, we have to support our local food establishments that we currently have. There are plenty of restaurants, and customers, to go around. 

There’s lots of things happening in the community right now. The fair has been going on for a couple of weeks, the River Festivus and Bluegrass Festival are also coming up soon. Along with the Steelhorse Stampede. And school is starting back very soon. Y’all get out there and find something fun to do! Enjoy your family. Life is too short. 

You can always let me know if you have questions, concerns, or just want to talk about something. You can reach me at City Hall at 270-864-5391 or email me at burkesvillemayor@ gmail.com.

 Hello Everyone. We are in that part of summer when the heat starts cranking up. This coming week is supposed to be extremely hot, with the heat index near 110 on some days. Please be careful if you have to be outside for an extended period of time. And make sure to check on your elderly neighbors. If you have pets outside, make sure they have plenty of water, food and shade. 

City Hall is closed this week, due to our staff attending a Municipal Clerks Conference for continuing education. We have a drop box outside our current office at the Veteran’s Center if you need to drop off a payment. If you need anything, you can call me, and if I can’t help you, I can put you in touch with someone that can. My number is 270-406-0189. 

We are finally accepting bids for the new city hall. Since it will also serve as the new police station, there are technical aspects that aren’t normally in a commercial building. If you know a company that might like to bid on this job, just let me know. It would be great to have a local company get the job. 

Speaking of local companies. Doesn’t the square look good full of businesses? The only spot left is the space to the right of the Pawn Shop. Looks like Keen Street is full, and most of the Houchen’s shopping center is also occupied. We lost a few businesses at the beginning of the pandemic, but as time goes on, we are coming out with more new businesses. 

The variants are still with us though, and Omicron BA.5 variant is very contagious and is spreading quickly in our area. Currently, Cumberland County is in the red status. Y’all be careful. 

The city is currently finishing up the wastewater treatment plant renovation with the final pieces being installed this week. We have the capacity for many more customers, and hope to see the city grow along with our infrastructure. We are also in the early stages of replacing a lift station at the south end of town. We just waiting on the stalls to be delivered, and then the new bathrooms at the city park will be finished. The stalls, like so much else now, have been ordered for quite some time, but due to shortages in all areas, have been delayed. They are supposed to be here this week. 

The local Industrial Development Authority chose an engineering firm recently to start work on an Industrial Park at the north end of town. When finished, this park will have areas available for large buildings up to 200,000 sq.ft. The areas will be ready for a building to be erected, with utilities and land ready to go. 

We should start seeing some movement on the TAP grant project, the walkway to the river from the square, soon also. This should also help with preliminaries on the sidewalks on Keen Street project. 

The city has had to send out many letters this year asking folks to clean up their properties in town. Overgrown yards and dilapidated buildings are the main concern. The overgrown yards have caused problems for neighbors with rodents and other critters, and in at least one instance, we have had to get the job done ourselves and place a lien on said property. We don’t want to do that, but after numerous communications with the landowners, with nothing done on their part, the area had to be cleaned up. We are also looking at condemning a couple of old houses. 

We are still searching for an affordable way to get a water feature at the park. Along with other things for kids, and adults to do, and enjoy. 

There are many more projects I’d love to see in our community. Many were paused, or simply stopped, when Covid hit us like a runaway freight train. Exciting things are in store for Burkesville and Cumberland County. It’s going to be fun to watch. 

Thanks for reading. If you have thoughts, ideas, or comments, I’d love to hear them. You can email burkesvillemayor@gmail. com. Or call or text me at 270-406-0189.

Hello Everyone. 

I thought I’d bring you up to date on some of the things going on with the city. 

A lot of folks are asking about the possibilities of getting a splash pad at the city park. One engineering firm gave a rough quote of $350,000. The construction involves having buried equipment underneath the pad itself. That’s a lot of money, so we are looking for applicable grants, and have the LCADD looking for us also. 

Our architect assures me that city hall construction project will be out for bids soon. We had to get geotechnical bore holes drilled on the property, and have been dealing with floodplain coordinators with the state. But everything is looking good. Just taking forever. 

We had vandalism at the city park earlier in the spring, and have installed multiple cameras there, and on various properties owned by the city. 

The walkway project from the square to the boat ramp is underway with an engineering firm chosen, and design documents being drawn up. That project should be underway this summer. 

That project was started with Partners with Pride so Burkesville could take part in the Kentucky Trail Town initiative. Since the project has officially started, we are now considered a Kentucky Trail Town. 

This walkway is being funded mostly with a TAP grant. TAP stands for Transportation Alternatives Program through the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet. 

We are already working with the Transportation Department toward our next TAP Grant that will bring much needed sidewalks to the Keen Street area. The plan is to have sidewalks from Lower River Street all the way around Keen Street where it meets Main Street at Pizza Hut. 

So many people walk in this area and it is very dangerous for pedestrians. 

A few folks have been receiving letters from the city asking them to clean up their spaces in town. Whether that be mowing, weedeating, or getting rid of excessive trash and debris. Be kind to your neighbors and just do the right thing. And when you do mow, please think about the people that ride motorcycles, and don’t blow the grass clippings into the roadway. It makes it very slippery to those riding. 

We’ve seen some new businesses opening over the past couple of months. In fact, I can’t think of any empty buildings on the square right now, except for the old dollar store building which will need extensive repairs before it’s safe to be occupied. 

I would love to see downtown open late on a weekend night through the summer. We could have someone playing music, people selling food, specials in the stores that are open. Maybe string some lights up to give it more ambiance. 

I think this would bring folks back to town from the marinas and create a more robust economic atmosphere. 

I would also like to restart, or start again, a Historical Society for Burkesville and Cumberland County. If you would be willing to serve of such a committee just let me know. 

We are also in need of a few members for various boards in town. You have to live in the city limits to serve on these boards. If interested, please call city hall at 270-864-5391. 


Friday, October 25, 2019

No Regrets

I read an article recently that really hit home. I want share some of it with you. It was about living life with no regrets, and about living for things that matter, not about filling our lives with distractions that keep us from being who we are really meant to be. This is exactly what we need in our society, and our local community, now more than ever.

We all need to be a no-regrets neighbor. Engaging our community in a creative way. Here are ten things the original article listed as "things you will not regret as you seek to bring meaning to your neighborhood."

1. You will not regret spending time with your neighbors. There are so many amazing people who live nearby, invite them over and find common connections as you get to know them.

2. You will not regret exploring your neighborhood. Go for walks, find pathways, visit a local shop, attend community events, and sit for awhile on a bench. Memories are made when we go on small adventures.

3. You will not regret speaking kindly of others. No neighborhood has ever benefited from drama and gossip. Make it your goal to create a healthy culture everywhere you go.

4. You will not regret being yourself. There’s no need to keep up with the Joneses. In fact, it would be great if you had the Joneses over for coffee sometime.

5. You will not regret creating fun for kids. Go and play, go to the park -it is good for you and the kids in your life.

6. You will not regret starting a group for people who share your interests. Be a gatherer, because if there is something you enjoy doing, you will likely find others in Burkesville who enjoy doing it, too.

7. You will not regret learning about other cultures. Meeting people from different ethnic or cultural backgrounds can be exciting and it offers new experiences and stories.

8. You will not regret growing trees. You may not be around in 40 years, but others will. Give the gift of a big tree for some future kid to climb, it’s a gift to the future of our city that raises value and makes our city beautiful for generations to come.

9. You will not regret throwing a block party. Block parties are one of the few times that all of your neighbors gather together. Organize a party, it is easy and creates an amazing sense of community.

10. You will not regret visiting with other leaders in our city. Sharing your hopes and dreams about Burkesville, and listening to others, builds common ground that helps us weather the storms, take steps forward on big projects, and fosters trust.

When we become neighbors who are courageous, kind, and bold in our passion, we not only give meaning to our community, but we find meaning for ourselves. May we be a city without regrets and neighbors who make the most of every moment.

Hello everyone. By the time you read this it will officially be Fall. I love Fall. The mornings start crisp and cool, while still nice and w...