City asked to increase 7th Street funds

BY FRED PETKE

Sun Reporter

The city of Winchester may need to come up with another quarter-million dollars to complete the Seventh Street project, following a conversation with state transportation officials.

The city has been working on the project to build another access for truck traffic to businesses on Seventh Street, rather than going through a residential neighborhood as they have for decades.

Winchester Mayor Ed Burtner said he received a call from Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Secretary Jim Gray Jan. 25 to discuss the project.

Burtner said the state estimated the cost for the project at $4.99 million. The city has already set aside $300,000 for the project in addition to grant and state funds, he said, but there would be an approximately $246,500 shortfall, he said.

The state wants to move ahead with the project and asked the city if it could cover the difference, Burtner said. The city would also be responsible for any other expenses above the allocated funds, he said.

The commission took no action on the request Tuesday night.

“I came away from the call (that) they are very much behind this” project, Burtner said.

Winchester City Manager Mike Flynn said he anticipates another meeting with transportation officials next week.

“It’s very actively moving forward,” he said.

At present, the city is working on obtaining the property descriptions for the land needed for the project, so it can proceed with obtaining the necessary rights-of-way, Burtner said.

Tom Sparks also presented the city’s audit for fiscal year 2020. The city, he said, was in good financial standing and the audit was clean.

The only issue noted was that the 2019 audit was not published within 30 days of receipt, as required by state statute. The problem was attributed to transitions within the city and inadequate communication.

In its response, the city said a new procedure was implemented including the city clerk and the finance department to avoid future problems.

In other action Tuesday, the commission:

• Approved a bid of $29,000 from Grant’s Excavating to demolish a structure at 115 E. Lexington Ave. Grant’s submitted the lowest of five bids for the project.

• Voted in support of a project to develop a study of underutilized property with data from Clark County GIS.

• Discussed reworking five crosswalks along Main Street. No action was taken.

• Approved a proclamation promoting Ale 8 Zero Sugar.

• Approved out-of-state travel in May for the city clerk and deputy clerk.

• Approved a grant application for Winchester Fire-EMS.

• Approved the second reading of a budget amendment.

• Approved the second reading of an ordinance for a pay plan to meet the budget.

• Accepted a portion of the Main Street sidewalk project for city maintenance.

• Accepted the resignation of Meredith Guy from the Main Street Winchester board.

• Hired Hayden Ayers as a patient transfer specialist/EMT.

• Approved the promotion of Eric Campbell from sergeant to training captain at Winchester Police Department.

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 fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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