Commission approves public works raise, and okays new Sunday alcohol sales time

Published 10:18 am Friday, October 21, 2022

Per usual, several points of interest were brought up at the most recent Winchester City Commission meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 17.

One, in particular, will leave the Winchester Public Works Department very pleased.

The salary for members of the Public Works Department will be increased by 10%.

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It’s a measure identical to what took place recently with the Police Department, which also saw a 10% pay increase.

Steps were taken to determine how to arrive at this outcome.

“We felt like a more impartial and practical approach would be to utilize the Kentucky League of Cities wage and salary survey that they put out…On an annual basis”, said City Manager Mike Flynn. “It’s comprised of sections that range to minimum…All the way to maximum. Those comparisons allowed us to utilize…What I would call a median and midpoint, which I think is reasonable for determining any type of adjustment that would be requested or approved by the Commission.”

Mayor Burtner agreed.

“My suggestion…is that the commission look at the 10% number”, he said. “You’re getting ready to begin work for the budget year upcoming, and everything we’ve done clearly was [done] in order and needed…the 10% would be in keeping what we did with the Police Department.”

The commission voted to approve the increase unanimously.

Winchester First Board

As reported, the commission recently approved a plan to withdraw from the Kentucky Main Street program.

Having done so and notified the state, the name of Main Street Winchester will be different.

Following an ordinance change, it will now be known as Winchester First Board.

“What is proposed [is that] we’re going back to the name that we started out with,” Burtner said. “To be honest with you, I like that name anyway. It just sort of says how I feel about Winchester.”

By doing so, the number of board members will decrease, though the personnel is believed to be available to fill the positions.

The motion to approve the name change passed with unanimous approval.

Alcohol Sales

During a second reading of the ordinance change to allow alcohol sales to begin at 11 a.m. on Sunday mornings, there continued to be some discussion.

Speaking in opposition was James Willoughby, a welding instructor at the Clark County Area Technology Center.

“I was looking at a few statistics about the alcohol and different things like that. I believe around 67,000 women die each year in the United States of America due to some related calls of alcoholism. I believe that triples when you factor in men,” he said. “I’m asking you to make a decision as would be pleasing unto God.”

Local resident and Public Works Director Pat Clark also spoke in opposition.

Jennifer Wilson, a local business owner of Eve’s Uniques on Lexington Avenue, spoke in favor of the ordinance change.

“I am in support because Sunday is my Saturday, and it would be really nice to be able to have brunch and have my mimosa and not have to wait until the middle of the afternoon because there’s other things I want to do on one of my only two days off,” she said.

Chad Walker, co-owner of The Engine House, also spoke in favor.

Commissioner Kitty Strode had a comment.

“My understanding is that of the restaurants that are open at 11 o’clock…a lot of people come in and want a Bloody Mary or [a] Mimosa”, she said. “They’re not coming in to drink for four hours.”

The ordinance change was approved 4-1, with Commissioner Shannon Cox dissenting.