City Council votes to increase fees for water and sewer deposits

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Former mayor raises question of funds earmarked for Main Street

By Linda Ireland

Hodgenville City Council voted Monday to increase water and sewer hookup deposits by $50. Non-property owners will be required to pay $150 for hookups.
Mayor Terry Cruse said the city has lost almost $20,000 since 2007 on defaulted water bills. Renters move out without giving notice and the city is unable to collect.
Homeowners are not required to pay a deposit. If they default on a bill, a lien may be placed on their property.
Council member Bonni Clark voted “no” on the ordinance. She said it wasn’t a “good time” due to the poor economy.
Cruse responded that it wouldn’t affect people “who pay their bills.”
The other five council members voted for the proposal.
In other business:
• Cruse announced that state funding has been received to install restrooms at Creekfront Park. The  $24,692 grant will be used to purchase a pre-engineered building that can withstand the flooding that sometimes occurs at Creekfront. The building will be installed when the weather “fairs up,” Cruse said.
• Cruse said the city has received about $200,000 to make sewer repairs along College Street and Hamilton Acres.
• The Greensburg Street water tower is completed and “filling up with water,” Cruse said. However, it is not filling completely and engineers believe it has a valve problem.
• It was announced that Salem Lake and McDougal Lake will open this week for fishing. Portions of Salem Lake will be cabled off to prevent vandalism.
• Acting Police Chief Steve Johnson announced the receipt of a Highway Safety Grant that will be used to purchase radar detectors for squad cars and a stationery radar trailer for use on city streets. The device flashes a warning to speeding drivers. The grant will also pay overtime and other expenses for officers to patrol.
• Former Mayor Roger Truitt questioned the Council about an ordinance enacted while he was in office. The 2004 insurance premium tax was set up to fund Main Street, Hodgenville Fire Department and street and sidewalk repairs.
Truitt said since (Kentucky Renaissance) Main Street was disbanded last month, the council had been “collecting taxes for an entity that no longer exists.” He suggested if it “goes on long enough,” someone could take the matter to court.
He asked also if the Council had amended the budget to reflect the change – and if they would consider additional provisions for the fire department.  
Truitt and Cruse exchanged several barbs about the fire department, sidewalk maintenance and taxes. The Council members did not contribute to the conversation and no action was taken.