Thursday, March 21, 2013

Aldermen Cancel Hearing/Disapprove Zoning Change/Talk 911

The Louisville Board of Aldermen met on Tuesday night (March 19) in a regular scheduled meeting. A copy of their unamended agenda is available on their website at

The first major item on the agenda concerned a zoning variance request for 119 Smyth Lake Rd. by Community Counseling.
The city zoning board had previously unanimously disapproved the request for variance.  Aldermen voted to accept that decision. The variance was disapproved due to the high number of children indicated at the proposed day care center site and the possible bus traffic that would be involved. The planning board indicated that they felt that these factors were inappropriate for a residential area.

The board also dealt with two unclean properties, one at 412 Academy and the other at 709 N. Columbus. Both property owners were given an additional 30 days to clean the property and the matter will be revisited at the Board of Aldermen meeting on April 16.

After some discussion, the board also voted to hire a temporary worker for a nine-month period, primarily to assist with cemetery maintenance. The discussion centered on the definition of temporary employee versus part-time employee.

Police Chief L. M. Claiborne requested a resolution from the board required for the continuation of a DUI enforcement grant. The board approved the resolution.

Also after discussion, aldermen voted to table any further discussion about the proposed rental property ordinance until a future date. Mayor Hill indicated that the intent was not to abandon the idea but more time was needed to prepare a more workable ordinance. Hill indicated that many factors need to be considered including solid waste impact, the inspection process and utilities. City Attorney Taylor Tucker supported the cancellation of the public hearing saying, “We would be chasing rabbits in a public hearing because all aspects of the ordinance are not in place.”

Several aldermen did indicate their support for registration of rental property at some point in the future. Aldermen At Large Frances Ball made the motion to table the matter indefinitely and it was approved unanimously by the board. The Board also moved to cancel the scheduled public hearing on March 26.

Mayor Hill advised the board that nominations were needed to fill a vacant position on the zoning board and asked for nominations in the next meeting.

The interlocal agreement with the County for 911 administration was the next topic of discussion. The County recently voted to revamp the agreement. The revision will involve changing the makeup of the 911 Advisory Board, possible chain of command changes and changing the legal counsel.

Buddy King, Winston County EMA director spoke to the board on this issue. He indicated that this was an eight-year-old document and that lots of changes have taken place. The current 911 board is too large in the County’s opinion and it has been difficult to get a quorum for meetings. He indicated the leading consideration was to get a consensus document with the city recognizing that you can delegate authority but not responsibility. By law, the County is responsible for 911. 

Several aldermen expressed frustration with the process and that this has been an ongoing issue for many years. The consensus was that communication is a major problem but that making the best decision for the people Winston County was the most important matter at hand.

In other business, Police Chief Claiborne indicated that a Homeland Security grant for the purchase of a vehicle is in the works and requested that the board give the Mayor the authority to approve the purchase of a vehicle with the grant funds. Under the grant requirements, the purchase must be made before the next Board of Aldermen meeting. The board approved the request.

The board entered into executive session to discuss legal matters relating to a possible land swap involving the Jake’s Salvage property. The city is seeking to reach agreement to facilitate a swap of land with the landowner. More detail should be available soon.

Once approved the board minutes of this meeting will be available in the City Clerk’s office and online on the City’s webpage.