CITY OF WINDY HILLS
Minutes of Regular Council Meeting
May 11, 2020
The Council and Officers of the City of Windy Hills met virtually through Zoom, at 7:00 P.M. Mayor Davis called the meeting to order.
ROLL CALL: The following were present:
MAYOR COUNCIL MEMBERS OTHER CITY OFFICIALS
Helen M. Davis Bruce Blue Lisa Kraft
Kate Greer Jim Hodge
Marcia Myers Steve Teaford
Councilman Blue moved to approve the minutes of the March 9, 2020, Council meeting; seconded by Councilwoman Myers and approved unanimously. There were no April minutes because the April City Council meeting was canceled due to the COVID 19 emergency.
FINANCIAL REPORTS, APPROVAL OF BILLS:
The financial reports for March-April, 2020 were moved for approval by Councilwoman Greer, seconded by Councilman Blue, and approved unanimously.
Councilwoman Myers moved to approve the March-April bills, totaling $74,599.30 and was seconded by Councilman Blue. The motion passed unanimously.
RESIDENTS’ COMMENTS/CONCERNS: There were no resident comments.
MAYOR’S REPORT: This has certainly been a strange year. I have spent countless hours on the phone in virtual meetings with KLC, JCLC, Mayor Fisher, Senator McConnell, and the State Covid Task Force. If there was a meeting I was supposed to attend, I did. I have also spent too many hours “dumpster” diving through the City records – financial and otherwise. My QuickBooks skills are rapidly improving. It had been 8 years since I had used QuickBooks and it has been a learning curve but I have evolved enough to create all of the financial reports and begin teaching Lisa Kraft, our new City Clerk.
We were contacted by the Verizon franchisee about our un-cashed $2500 check from 2018. After several phone calls and Lisa and I spending hours going through files and QuickBooks, we determined that that the check was never cashed. Lisa contacted them and they are reissuing the check.
I have also handled un-mowed grass, dead trees, driveway encroachment issues, unpaid taxes, complaints about lack of social distancing, etc. We did have several complaints about an Indian Ridge property not complying with social distance and “shelter in place” orders. I contacted the Mayor’s office and they were very responsive. I was asked to obtain specific information from the neighbors so the Health Department could follow up. I emailed the neighbors but no one responded. Nothing was done.
I sent follow up letters to the two property owners with the unsafe trees – one on Antrim and the other on Foeburn. I spoke to the Foeburn homeowner who said that she could not afford to take down the tree. I proposed that we take down the tree and file a lien for said amount. I told her that I would verify the process with our lawyer. Jim and I spoke and he agreed that this is the best approach. I left the homeowner a message and will be following up with her via a letter with a copy for Jim Hodge. The Antrim property will have two trees taken down on Friday, May 15, 2020.
As you know, Lisa Kraft was hired at the end of March. She took the oath of office on May 8, 2020. Per our ordinance, she is paid $25 an hour and works 23.1 hours per week for a total of $30,000. Per our Governor’s orders, Lisa was working from home until this past week. Per Governor Beshear’s orders, the city will reopen May 18, 2020, but following the governor’s guidelines. The guidelines are attached to this report.
Marianne Rademaker and I have been working on the budget through virtual meetings. We have spent hours reviewing the numbers, accounts, etc. and we will discuss and have a first reading of the budget under new business. We received the updated PVA 2020 tax info and those numbers were used for our budget projections.
Police Report: There were a total of 95 hours in March and 106 hours for April. March radar= 30 hours evenly divided between Ambridge and Rudy resulting in 4 warnings and 1 ticket. There was a parking ticket issued for a car on Clerkenwell. We had another barking dog situation this time on Bentwood Place. We had an unlicensed/inoperable car at 617 Rudy Lane.
April Radar = 30 hours evenly divided between Ambridge and Rudy resulting in 1 warning. There was targeted enforcement on Pin Oak that was requested by me based on some residents’ complaints. There was other “unfounded” activity.
There were 34 hours of house watch all devoted to one house in Wexford Place because the resident is sheltering in Washington. According to the report, there was an arrest at the house. There were no parking citations issued for April because we suspended enforcement but we will be resuming next week. Unfortunately, some of our heavy abusers have taken advantage of the situation and the neighbors have been complaining.
Some of the delinquent taxes have been paid and the accounts updated. Lisa and I worked on a request about an unpaid tax bill that we found outdated to 2014/2015. I calculated all of the unpaid taxes, penalties, and interest for years 14, 15, and 19. Lisa sent an email with all of the information. We are implementing a new system to better track tax bills.
The office will be reopening May 18, 2020, per Mayor Fischer and following the Governor’s guidelines. The guidelines follow:
Kentucky released new reopening guidelines on Friday for additional businesses and organizations, including governmental agencies. Governor Andy Beshear thanked the Kentucky League of Cities for collaborating with the governor’s office on the suggested government procedures, which include the proposal that government offices not already in operation reopen on May 18. It is important to note that the guidelines are not mandatory for city governments and are only recommendations. Since many of these recommendations are not practical for some cities, they should be used by cities to help model their own individual policies.
The first recommendation addresses workplace capacity in government offices. On this point, the state is encouraging local governments to have no more than 50% of employees in an office per day, with the hope that other workers can utilize telework. Buildings are also asked to be at no more than 33% occupational capacity. While it will be impossible for many cities to continue operations and meet this goal, cities should look at developing policies that attempt to maximize the ability for employees to maintain safe social distancing.
Many government services and businesses are already operating by phone, and the state is requesting that policy continue where it is possible. They are also encouraging local government employees to wear face masks when interacting with coworkers and the public. You can access the complete guidelines that local offices and agencies, including the judicial and legislative branches, are encouraged to adopt or incorporate here.
Information was also provided on Friday for retail, places of worship, and funeral homes, which have a May 20 resumption date. Those guidelines can be found at the state’s “Healthy at Work” website. Governor Beshear said the state is still drafting requirements for restaurants, salons, and other businesses set to resume operation later this month.
Code Enforcement: Steve Teaford reported there are 55 rental – maybe more and 23 vacant homes.
City Maintenance/Windy Hills Green/Tree Board – Councilwoman Greer: Councilwoman Greer reported on the following items:
• The dogwood has been planted on the Green behind the signature entrance.
• Mike Hayman is trying to locate an Appalachian Redwood to replace the one that died in the western part of the Green. We may have to wait until fall to get a new one.
• A resident emailed the City that the triangle island on Clerkenwell was looking neglected. After I visited the site, I agreed with her concerns. I called Adam Vogelsang to see what work he did on the area. He only cut the grass. He will now start spraying for weeds and remove the dead shrub. I emailed the resident that we will remedy the situation.
• A resident requested (for the second time) that the City maintain the area along Highway 42 directly behind Coach Gate. The resident’s estimate is $5,000. The issue was addressed after the first request. The Council voted no. This is a State highway and we will not maintain it.
• TREE BOARD
• Because of the virus, there will be no Arbor Day this year. We can still get our Tree City status if we meet all the other requirements.
• Two residents purchased trees under the WHAAG program.
• Four of the people who applied for trees under the special program purchased their trees in March. The others will have to wait until November. Hopefully, there will be no drought.
• Ordered green fairy lights to put up on the signature entrance so the Christmas tree can be turned off.
Newsletter – Councilwoman Myers: Councilwoman Myers stated that she is gathering articles for the May newsletter. It is clear that we cannot celebrate the 4th of July with our usual parade and picnic. Our usual vendors and dedicated volunteers have been notified.
Since we have had to cancel Arbor Day and 4th of July events, and Windy Hills’ graduates are missing significant life landmark celebrations, Councilwoman Myers proposed a contact-free event to engage and lift community spirits. Councilwoman Myers made a motion to approve a Graduation Parade, seconded by Councilwoman Spencer, and passed unanimously. Details below:
On May 31, 2020, with the assistance of the Graymoor-Devondale Police, a graduation parade will tour the city, passing by the homes of 2020 high school and college graduates. Participants would ride in their own vehicles and remain in the vehicles. An announcement will be placed in The Windy Hills Breeze to ask families of grads to contact Lisa so the route can be planned. The route would generally begin from Sojourn Church, loop down Ambridge, then Rudy to Hubbards Lane, Brownsboro, Wexford Place loop, back to Rudy.
Community Caring/Welcome to Windy Hills – Councilwoman Spencer: Councilwoman Spencer reported on the following items:
• Community Caring– Sojourn Church Youth Group offered to do grocery store runs and other errands for our seniors during the first flurry of pandemic closures in mid-March. Notices were passed out by Jody Mudd, Stacey Ferris, and me resulting in 8 calls, 3 to just say “thanks” and 4 actual appointments reported back to me. Thanks to Marcia for a great idea to congratulate Grads. I have no clue how many we have other than one on my street.
• Five new residents in March and April total – I have not called on any new residents.
• Kentucky Orchid Society Bench has arrived at Freedom Metals. Cement company may be back on their working schedule next week and piers can be ordered for installation– Also signage for back rail can be ordered.
Finance – Councilwoman Rademaker: Councilwoman Rademaker reported that funds are secure at First Financial Bank by Federal Reserve, the City will continue doing business with them. The City still has approximately $23,000 at Stock Yards Bank.
Public Works – Councilman Blue: Councilman Blue reported:
• Mayor thanked Bruce for quick response on a downed tree
• Car on Two Springs has been handled.
• EcoTech is back to its regular pickup service.
• Checked all street, street signs, and poles.
• Have marked street areas that need repair. We will start working on the bid, as we did last year. Many of the streets may need repaving soon.
• Have identified street lights out and will report to LG&E. Drainage problems will be reported to MSD.
• Received a call from a resident about trimming back bushes at the corner of Ambridge and Westport Rd.
Ordinances/Community Standards – Councilwoman Trachtenberg: Councilwoman Trachtenberg reported to the Tree Board there is a tree on Windhurst/Ambridge that looks dead. I sent out two letters to vacant homes. The Mayor thanked Councilwoman Trachtenberg for attending a virtual Covid19 meeting in her place.
UNFINISHED BUSINESS: None.
NEW BUSINESS: Attorney Hodge read a summary:
First reading of Ordinance No.1 Series 2019/2020 – Ad Valorem Taxes. Councilwoman Rademaker made a motion for approval, Councilwoman Greer seconded, and approved unanimously. No action necessary. Second reading will be at the next Council meeting in June.
First reading of Ordinance No.2 Series 2019/2020 – 2020/2021 Budget. Councilwoman Rademaker made a motion for approval, Councilwoman Greer seconded, and approved unanimously. No action necessary. Second reading will be at the next Council meeting in June.
ATTORNEY’S REPORT: Attorney Hodge reported that the Candidate filing deadline is fast approaching – June 2, for the General Election to be held November 3, 2020.
COMMENTS/QUESTIONS TO THE COUNCIL AS A WHOLE: NONE
Councilwoman Myers moved to adjourn the meeting at 7:56 PM., seconded by Councilwoman Trachtenberg, and the motion passed unanimously.
Helen M Davis, Mayor Lisa Kraft, City Clerk