PRESTONSBURG – The Prestonsburg City Council met for its regular monthly meeting on Monday. Mayor Les Stapleton called the meeting to order. All council members were in attendance at the meeting.
Mayor Stapleton welcomed visitors Tracy Neece, Mayor of Hindman; Rick Hughes of the Floyd County Chamber of Commerce and Mitchell Pearson, the new Executive Director of Tourism in Floyd County.
The first item on the agenda was the approval of the 14-15 Audit. The individual reviewing the audit was unable to attend the meeting due to weather conditions. Mayor Stapleton suggested the council table discussions of the 14-15 audit until the next council meeting of March 21, however did offer to open the floor for discussion if the council chose to. Council member Freddie Goble made a motion to table the discussion. Everyone agreed to discuss the audit during the March 21 meeting. Mayor Stapleton did have positive news regarding the audit to share with the council before the March 21 meeting.
“Our latest audit showed only one finding of concern and that issue has already been addressed and taken care, compared to the previous year’s audit that sited 25 findings of concern,” said Stapleton.
Next item on the agenda was the approval of bills. Council member Don Willis made a motion to approve bills which included a bill of $6100 for 60 ton of road salt. Council members agreed and the motion was approved.
The council moved on to new business, which included legislative updates. Mayor Stapleton discussed three legislative items that could possibly effect the City of Prestonsburg.
Senate Bill 80 is the first bill up for discussion. The bill would create the 3-foot mandate, as well as allow drivers to cross the double-yellow line when necessary in order to avoid getting too close to a cyclist, even in a no-passing zone. Kentucky’s current set of statutes gives no indication of safe-passing rules, but the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet recommends the 3-foot cushion. Kentucky state senators approved Senate Bill 80 by a 33-4 margin. The bill now heads to the state House of Representatives.
The second item is the local auction tax.
“The bill regarding local auction tax is the purest form of Democracy.” said Stapleton. “If we have a project we want to do, we have the opportunity to vote on it, how it is used, and the terms. The tax also must be for a specific project, like a ball field, gymnasium something of that
The third legislative item is Senate Bill 166 which relates to resources supporting local tourism, recreation, and economic development. Restaurant tax is 3%. The city will retain 75% of that tax and 25% will go to tourism. The tax money must be used for specific purposes such as recreation, economic development, or infrastructure related to economic development and anything that will improve tourism.
Another item on the meeting agenda was the creation of a bank account for Prestonsburg Racing Group. The group has come up with a Championship Race Series that involves three tracks located in Pikeville, I-64 and Prestonsburg. Money specifically donated to the race series will go into this specific account for the Championship Race Series blowout finale race. The bank account will be controlled by the City Commission. The council voted to approve the bank account with B.D. Nunnery making the motion to approve and David Gearheart second the motion.
Before the council went into executive session, Mayor Stapleton announced that on March 8, Highlands Regional Health Care will be sponsoring a Health Fair for city employees and their families. Employees from Highlands will be set up at Prestonsburg City Hall. They will be doing screenings for blood pressure, sugar, and basic health. All city employees are encouraged to participate
Andrea Saddler is a reporter for the Floyd County Times. She can be reached at (606) 794-0290.