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City council expresses support for rehiring lobbyist
The Lebanon City Council on Sept. 8 voted unanimously to express its support for hiring Karen Lentz to lobby on the city's behalf in Frankfort.
This is not a formal hiring since no contract has yet been presented to the city, but the city expressed its support for hiring Lentz and sharing the costs with the Marion County Fiscal Court. The fiscal court on Aug. 23 voted 4-1 in favor of hiring Lentz contingent on the city council sharing the cost. Magistrate Roger "Cotton" Smothers cast the opposing vote, saying his constituents have told him they are not in favor of hiring a lobbyist.
While no contract has been presented, Marion County Economic Development Director Tom Lund told the council that the previous contract was for $20,000 annually, with the city council and the fiscal court approving $10,000 each. Lund said Lentz's fee depends on how much she is asked to do.
Lebanon Mayor Gary Crenshaw said they would be asking her to do the same thing she did the last time she was hired by the city and county.
Councilman Jerry Abell said he supported the idea of hiring a lobbyist, but he wanted to see a contract before making a final decision.
Ham Days requests approved
The city council approved a variety of requests for Ham Days weekend.
They granted a request by the Marion County Chamber of Commerce for a noise ordinance variance from 6 p.m. to midnight Sept. 28, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 29 and from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Sept. 30 at the downtown stage and from 5 p.m. Sept. 29 to 1 a.m. Sept. 30 at Centre Square for the Battle of the Bands.
The council approved a request from the Rotary Club to sell beer during the Battle of the Bands on Saturday, Sept. 29.
The city also approved the same street closings as it approved during last year's Ham Days. Here is the street closing schedule:
- Thursday, Sept. 27 - At 6 p.m., Main Street will be closed from Depot Street to Spalding Avenue and Proctor Knott Avenue will be closed from Mulberry Street to M.L. King Avenue. These closures are for the assembly and decoration of the downtown stage. Main Street will reopen after the stage assembly is complete.
- Friday, Sept. 28 - At 4:30 p.m., M. L. King Avenue will be closed from Depot Street to Harrison Street; Mulberry Street will be closed from Spalding Avenue to Proctor Knott Avenue; Spalding Avenue will be closed from Main Street to Mulberry Street; Depot Street will be closed from Main Street to Lincoln Avenue; J.T. Whitlock Drive between N. Spalding and N. Harrison Street; and Veterans Drive will be closed from the east side of the VFW Army tank to Depot Street. At 5 p.m., Main Street will be closed between Proctor Knott and Spalding Avenue.
- Saturday, Sept. 29 - At 4 a.m., the street closures in effect Friday will be in effect again, although some areas will reopen following the parade
- Sunday, Sept. 30 - At 4 a.m., the same streets will be closed as on Friday evening.
In other business:
- The city also approved noise variances Friday night and throughout the day Saturday for Joe's Deli on Main, Chaser's and McB's.
The city council approved a request from The Caring Place to hold a roadblock fund-raiser from 9 a.m. to noon Oct. 13.
- Doug Peterson asked the city to make repairs to a portion of the driveway at his home on Hood Avenue. The city voted 5-1 to do the work to make the repairs if Peterson purchased the materials, which is the city's policy related to sidewalk repairs.
Abell cast the opposing vote. During the discussion he had asked if the city could make the repairs to Peterson's driveway as part of the sidewalk replacement plan.
City Attorney Kandice Engle-Gray said if the city did that, then it would be varying from the replacement plan it has already approved.
- The council voted unanimously to have Halloween in the Park from 5:30 to 7 p.m Oct. 31 and to have trick-or-treating from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Oct. 31.
Council approves 2012 tax rate
The city council voted unanimously to approve its 2012 ad valorem tax rates last week.
The first reading was approved Sept. 10, and the second reading was approved during a special-called meeting Sept. 12. Councilman Jay Grundy and Darin Spalding were not present for the Sept. 12 meeting.
The city's tax property tax rate has increased from 18.4 cents per $100 in property valuation last year to 19.1 cents per $100 this year.
The city's tangible property tax rate changed from 20 cents last year to 19.14 cents per $100 valuation this year, and the motor vehicle tax rate stayed the same at 24.33 cents per $100 valuation.