City moves forward with ordinance to curb crime

Published 9:23 am Thursday, April 5, 2018

The Winchester Board of Commissioners approved the second reading of an ordinance to fine landlords for repeated criminal situations in their properties.

The ordinance would cite property owners after the fourth violation within one calendar year. If the problem is not abated, the landlord could be fined from $500 to $5,000.

Winchester Police Chief Kevin Palmer said previously the main target is the illegal drug trade as well as absentee landlords. The list of violations includes sexual offenses, prostitution, weapons charges, gambling and any felony charges or search warrants for those offenses.

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If the tenant was the victim and had no control of the incident, it would not count toward the four violations, according to the ordinance.

The Clark County Fiscal Court approved the ordinance, which is part of a joint ordinance, but must vote on it a second time before it takes effect.

The commissioners also unanimously approved a contract with Lagco Excavation to remove the rubble and install new storm drains and a manhole on North Main Street.

Work was scheduled to begin Wednesday to repair a storm sewer that collapsed.

The submitted quote was for $73,368. Adding a bond to the contract would add about $1,000 to the price, which the commissioners requested.

Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said the situation was discovered a week ago by employees with Winchester Municipal Utilities in front of WMU offices. City Manager Matt Belcher said previously a clay storm sewer pipe collapsed, which allowed water to erode the dirt beneath the street.

The road has been closed since, and likely will remain closed for about two and a half weeks while repairs are completed.

The street surface will be dug up and the state Department of Highways will assist in funding the replacement of the street surface.

“More than likely we’ll pay for this from the municipal aid funds we receive,” Burtner said.

The project was declared an emergency, which allows the city to bypass the usual bid process. Belcher said he requested quotes from four companies, but Lagco was the only one to submit a quote.

In other action, the commissioners:

— decided to contribute $8,000 for the Fourth of July celebration.

—approved the first reading of a joint ordinance to amend the hours of park use for Winchester-Clark County Parks and Recreation.

— approved a change order for the bathroom project at the Winchester Kroger Youth Soccer Complex.

— rescinded and approved the $3,000 donation to the Friends of the Clark County Animal Shelter, to contribute the money through the fiscal court.

— accepted the resignations of Winchester Police patrolman Joshua Webb and patient transfer specialist Brooklyn Khloe Kelley.

— accepted the retirement of city treasurer Debra Bailey.

— promoted Tammy Shelton from purchasing officer to human resources/risk manager.

— hired Ethan O’Boyle and Hamid S. Umar as patient transfer specialists.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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