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Final council meeting for Osbourne, Pickerill

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Signage system approved for heritage trail

By Stephen Lega

Monday night was the final regular meeting for Lebanon city council members Elizabeth Ann Osbourne and Bill Pickerill.

Both were first elected in 2000, and both mark the end of 10 years of service with the Dec. 13 meeting.

Pickerill said it had been an honor to serve the community.

Osbourne said she enjoyed her time on the council and that she had learned a lot during that time. She added that she appreciated the voters allowing her to serve as long as she did.

In other business:

• The city council approved paying $50,000 of a $100,000 incentive to Fuel Total Systems to open its factory and hire employees. The second half of the incentive will likely be paid at the start of the next fiscal year, according to Mayor Gary Crenshaw.

• The council approved the first reading of an amendment to the city's property maintenance ordinance. The amendment changes the definition of excessive weeds and grass from 12 inches to eight inches. This is also what the city law considered excessive before the property maintenance ordinance was approved.

In another property maintenance matter, the Property Maintenance Code Enforcement Board discussed reducing the amount of fines and penalties for property owners who have cleaned up their properties but do not have the funds to pay their fines. The board has not made any promises in this regard.

Councilman Marrett asked if the board had the right to make that decision. (City Attorney Kandice Engle-Gray was not present at the Dec. 13 meeting.)

Mayor Crenshaw said the board did not have that right. He added that individuals seeking a waiver first had to present their reasons to the board before requesting a waiver from the city council.

Marrett said they should not choose who has to pay fines based on who can afford them. Crenshaw agreed.

• The council approved the mayor's recommendation for appointments to three boards. Benita Carroll was appointed to the Board of Zoning Adjustment with a term ending in January of 2014.

Joe Green, Robert Smith and James R. Moraja Sr. were appointed to the Lebanon Water Works Board of Directors. Green and Smith's terms will end in September of 2014, and Moraja's term will end in September of 2013.

David Clements, Ackie George, Doug Ray, Barbara Crist and Brenda Harmon were appointed to the Planning and Zoning Commission. The terms for Clements, George, Ray and Crist will expire in May of 2014, and Harmon's term will end in May of 2013.

Signage system approved for heritage trail

The Lebanon City Council approved a proposed signage system to identify sites that are part of the John Hunt Morgan Heritage Trail. The trail includes 18 Kentucky counties, and the project started more than 10 years ago, according to Chris Hamilton, the Lebanon tourism executive director.

Specifically, the council approved the signs for the downtown area with the city administrator having final approval regarding where the signs are posted and that no new holes are created in the sidewalks without prior approval.

The proposal, which was prepared by state officials, identifies sign locations on Hwy. 55 and Hwy. 68, some of which are located downtown and some of which are located on state right-of-ways. Council members Kenny Marrett, Kate Palagi and Bill Pickerill expressed concerns about the locations of particular signs. Hamilton said the city would have some say regarding the specific location of signs in downtown Lebanon and that he would ride with state officials before the signs are posted.

A grant will provide partial funding for the signs, and the tourism commission will pay for the difference, Hamilton said.

Council members also expressed concerns about existing signs being removed from the state right-of-way. Some of those signs identified the Marion County Veterans Memorial Highway (the Lebanon bypass) and directions to the library.

Hamilton said the tourism commission has asked the state to hold onto the signs they remove. He said the commission intends to use them to create a new display.

Marrett also asked why no signs were included on Hwy. 49. Hamilton said the original request had included more signs, but the state limited how many signs each of the 18 counties would have. He added that they can request more signs at a later date.