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Businessman complains about boarded-up buildings on Main Street

Park Hills City Council heard a complaint about boarded-up buildings on Main Street and approved six recommended street projects at Tuesday’s monthly meeting.

Developer Ken Mosier told the board that two properties on Main Street have had plywood on their windows and doors since July. He asked the board to enforce city ordinances that require repairs to be made in a timely manner. Mosier said the city should force owners to remove the boards and replace the glass.

Mosier, who owns five storefronts on Main Street, said the plywood on the buildings is a detriment to other store owners.

“It’s hard to rent to a building when you have burned-out buildings on each side,” Mosier said. “We need to do something to bring the downtown back, and we need a little help.”

Mayor John Clark sympathized with Mosier and said he thought the city has made some headway with one of the building’s owners by threatening condemnation.

“We can look at ordinances and try to enforce them, but we need your help, too,” Clark told Mosier. “We have a downtown organization that is pretty well defunct. We’d like to see it revitalized.”

Mosier asked the city to take a stronger stand against the owner of the second building.

“I want it fixed,” Mosier said. “I want it cleaned up.”

The Council also discussed a street improvement schedule recommended for passage by the Public Works and Utility Committee. The Council added a paving project on Taylor Street to the schedule and approved it with a 6-0 vote. Members Jeff Cunningham and Steve Kelly were absent from the meeting.

The Council also agreed to put the National Street improvements at the top of the list of alternate projects. Ward II Councilwoman Linda Dickerson said residents of National Street were concerned about the narrow road, and had been under the impression that because the city did not fix the road last year, it would be the first project addressed this year.

City Administrator John Kennedy told council members that the city budgeted $248,000 for street projects this year, and the estimated cost of the approved projects is approximately $217,000. Barring any unforeseen problems or emergencies, the city should be able to finish more than the top six projects, he added.

The approved projects are on Hampton, Seventh, Griffith, Missouri, Taylor, West and East Main streets, as well as one on West Elvins Boulevard. According to the street maintenance plan, the city will install curbs, gutters, and sidewalks in the 100 and 200 blocks of Hampton Streets, and will pave those two blocks as well as the 400 block.

The city will remove and replace seriously defective sections of concrete and pave and improve storm and surface drainage on West Elvins Boulevard between Prentiss and Smith streets.

Seventh Street improvements include installation of curbs and gutters from the new bridge to Pennsylvania Street. Kennedy said the city would like to install a base and pave the same area to a width of 24 ft. if possible, and 20 ft. at the least.

Improvements on Griffith Street will run from Seventh Street to Jennings Road and will include leveling the roadway. The city will upgrade the intersection with Seventh Street and control storm drainage. Plans call for paving of Missouri Street from Jennings Road to the west end.

The city plans to complete Phase II of the downtown revitalization project from Science Street to Mitchell Street. This includes upgrading the Science Street intersection with Main Street by installing sidewalks, curbs, and gutters along the entire length. Construction will include upgrading storm damage.

The sixth project would correct a drop in pavement along Taylor Road from the roadway to the shoulder.

Also on Tuesday, the Council changed wording in two ordinances that deal with public records. Members updated the city’s open records ordinance to reflect changes in the state’s open records law, known as the Sunshine Law. Those changes address e-mail correspondence, access to taping meetings, and cost for copies of records. In the second ordinance, the Council changed the wording to state that the city’s open records ordinances mirror the Sunshine Law. Previously, the ordinance listed individual changes. Assistant City Administrator Norm Lucas explained that change in wording means the city no longer will have to change its ordinances every time the Sunshine Law is amended, as changes will automatically be covered.

In other business, the Council approved annexation of surplus right-of-way property along Highway 32 and along U.S. 67; set a date of April 12 for a public hearing on annexation of less than one acre of land adjacent to Conway Road; awarded a contract for $108,000 to Hogan Painting of Van Buren, Mo., to paint the Industrial Water Tank; and authorized staff to prepare and submit documents for a 2005 FEMA Assistance to Firefighters Grant. If successful, the grant would allow the fire department to buy 20 self-contained breathing apparatus. Together with four recently purchased apparatus, that would give every fire fighter updated safety equipment.

No one from the public commented during a public hearing on five annexation proposals. Ordinances on those proposals will be addressed in April.

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