City, county to make soccer complex safer

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Parking lot will be paved, marked

By Stevie Lowery

The gravel parking lot located at the soccer fields on Fairground Road in Lebanon has been an ongoing safety concern for the Marion County Youth Soccer League, which is reportedly experiencing its largest fall registration to date.
Parents have complained about the gravel lot because it gets packed with cars parked in multiple directions, and presents a potentially dangerous situation for kids coming and going to and from games.
Lebanon Mayor Gary Crenshaw told Lebanon City Council members during the council’s meeting on Oct. 9 that he’s received many phone calls and emails from parents voicing their concerns about the parking lot and requesting that it be paved and marked. The county owns the property, and after speaking with Marion County Judge/Executive David Daugherty, they both agreed something needed to be done to make the parking lot safer.
During the Marion County Fiscal Court’s meeting on Oct. 5, magistrates agreed to pay half the cost of paving the area if the city was willing to also pay half.
“It’s obvious to me that the parking lot will never be paved if we don’t participate,” Mayor Crenshaw said to the council during its meeting.
Council Member Kate Palagi said she’s been contacting magistrates for years asking them to pave the parking lot.
“It’s their land. It’s their parking lot,” she said.
Councilman John Mattingly made a motion for the city to pay half the cost of paving the lot provided the county maintain it in the future.
The council unanimously approved Mattingly’s motion, but Palagi said she was “very disappointed” in the county’s refusal to pay for the total cost considering it’s county property.
Councilman Darin Spalding said he wanted the agreement between the city and county to require the county to seal the parking lot at the same time they seal the parking lot at the David R. Hourigan Government Building.

Smoke free zone?
Councilman Spalding said he’s been bombarded with requests from parents and community members to make Graham Memorial Park, including the baseball, softball and soccer fields, smoke-free.
He said he would like the city to at least set up a “smoking zone” or area.
Mayor Crenshaw said he wanted the city to do some research about how other communities handle this issue before the council makes any decisions.
“Before we go down this road – and I think it’s a road we need to go down – let us do some research about what other parks do,” Crenshaw said.

In other matters, Lebanon City Council members:
• Approved a resolution supporting a separation of the County Employees Retirement System from the Kentucky Retirement System, which would result in the creation of a nine-member board whose sole responsibility would be the management of the County Employee Retirement System. The separation would also give local control of local pensions and would ensure the needs of the County Retirement System are met.
• Approved a resolution authorizing Mayor Crenshaw to enter into an agreement with Caterpillar Financial.
• Approved the second reading of ordinances amending the sewer use ordinance and amending the sewer rate ordinance.
• Approved several reappointments to the Lebanon Water Works Board of Directors, including James R. Moraja, Sr. and Mary Jane Shockency, with their terms expiring in September of 2019, and Robert H. Smith, DMD and Denise Thomas, with their terms to expire in September of 2020.

Editor’s note: Councilman Jerry Abell did not attend the Oct. 9 meeting due to a staffing issue at the Marion County Detention Center.