City Council: Rocks, rights, agenda discussed

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By Linda Ireland

Two Hodgenville residents battled Monday with Hodgenville Mayor Terry Cruse and City Clerk MaDonna Hornback over three large rocks that were taken from a construction site.

Donna Rodehaver and Don Costello asked to be added to City Council’s agenda to discuss the removal of rocks from Costello’s property on Smith Street.
Rodehaver passed a one-page statement to council members; Cruse asked for them to read it before Rodehaver read it aloud.

Cruse said it addressed two issues. One was about disposal of debris from city work sites; the second was a personnel issue dealing with Hornback “that didn’t need to be aired out here.”

Rodehaver was not allowed to address the council on the personnel issue.

Hornback, Rodehaver and Costello disagreed on some of the details. They did agree that Costello had asked a contractor working on the sewer/storm drain project for the rocks, which he placed on the corner of his property at the intersection of Smith Street and Greensburg Street.

Costello said he asked Hornback if it was possible for the city water department to use their tractors to take the rocks to his property and he was prepared to pay the hourly cost to do it.

Hornback said Costello asked for the rocks and she told him he could not have them because there was a contract on them. The contractor had agreed to dispose of all debris at Victor Kahill’s property.

Cruse said it was an “all or nothing” agreement.

Someone on the construction crew delivered the rocks to Costello’s property.

Cruse said when it was brought to the foreman’s attention, he instructed his workers to remove them because there was no signed waiver with the homeowner; he did not want the liability of putting the rocks on the right-of-way; and he had an agreement with Kahill.

Costello maintains the rocks are not on the right-of-way.

According to Rodehaver’s letter, she attempted to speak with Cruse about the rocks on the corner of South Greensburg and Smith Street “where drivers are notorious for turning too short.”

Cruse told her the rocks “didn’t have anything to do with you.”

Rodehaver disagreed, saying they “helped Greensburg Street look a little better.” She asked where the rocks had been taken.

Cruse told her to contact the contractor.

Costello said he didn’t want Rodehaver speaking for him.

Costello said being heard at a council meeting was difficult due to the sound quality in City Hall and trying to get on the agenda.

Cruse said City Council had put the rules for the agenda in place about two years ago “and we’ve been following it ever since.” Anyone who wants to address the council must call the week before the regular meeting and ask to be placed on the agenda.

Hornback posts the agenda in City Hall on Thursday before the meeting.

“If this council wants to do away with an agenda, they can do it,” said Cruse.

He added that microphones have been ordered, which should help the sound problem.

Councilman Alex LaRue asked if the agenda rules could be posted on the City’s website.

Hornback said she couldn’t put the information on the site until the documents were returned to her by Kentucky State Police.

KSP seized several of the City’s records and computers in June as part of an ongoing investigation.

“And they haven’t brought it back?” asked LaRue.

“No, they haven’t brought any of the information back yet,” Hornback replied.

The meeting was filmed.

In other business:

  • Councilwoman Glenda Wathen was not present at last week’s workshop or Monday’s council meeting due to an injury. Wathen is recovering from pool chemical burns to her eyes. She wrote the Council a letter informing them of her status.
  • Hodgenville Fire Department responded to one call last month – the report of a gas odor on Fairview Drive. Firefighters could not find the cause of the smell.