Richmond’s end-of-year budget surplus may be nearly $3 million, Finance Director Sharon Cain told the city commission Tuesday.
When adopted, the 2011-12 budget projected a surplus of only $650,000.
City expenses were nearly $1.9 million less than expected for the fiscal year, while receipts exceeded projections by about $500,000, Cain said.
More precise totals will have to wait until July 16 after the city closes its accounts payables for the year, the finance director said.
The city’s yearly financial audit will begin Oct. 1, according to interim City Manager Jimmy Howard.
During the public comment period at the meeting’s start, Lynn Thompson of the Kentucky Fairness Alliance asked the commission to reconsider its refusal to adopt a “fairness alliance” to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation.
In past discussions with the city’s human rights commission, members of the city commission questioned the need for a fairness ordinance and the cost of enforcing it, Thompson said.
The “negative press” Richmond has begun receiving since a recent incident when a lesbian couple was asked to leave a privately endowed park for displaying affection demonstrated the need for a fairness ordinance and should motivate the city to enact it, she said. With a budget surplus, the cost should not create a financial burden, Thompson added.
The city can choose to take a stand against discrimination, she said, or “turn a blind eye” to it.
None of the commissioners present offered any comment. Commissioner Donna Baird was absent.
City Commissioner Richmond Thomas introduced two teen ambassadors, Morgan Harris and Dee Wiggins, who have been working in the rights commission office and will continue working on projects for the agency during their senior year at Madison Central High School.
Among their goals is to help educate the community about the Muslim religion, they said, because a mosque is under construction in Richmond.
The commission heard first reading of an ordinance requiring all apartment complexes to maintain large trash bins, known as dumpsters, on their premises. Currently, these are required only of new facilities. Complexes without sufficient space for a dumpster will be exempt, if granted a waiver by the city’s adjustments board. An earlier draft of the ordinance was delayed and rewritten at Thomas’ request, so the application fees of those granted waivers would be reimbursed.
Thomas said he wished those “we know cannot install a dumpster” did not have to obtain a waiver, even if their fees are reimbursed. City Attorney Garrett Fowles, who wrote the ordinance, said the process was needed “to separate the wheat from the chaff.” A sedond-reading approval was given to ordinances placing a stop sign at an intersection on Professional Drive off the Martin Bypass near a popular Mexican restaurant and prohibiting parking on the west side of Brittany Circle at its intersection with Alicia Drive.
The developer will pay the cost of the Professional Drive stop sign, Howard said.
Commissioner Jason Morgan asked if the city had investigated whether houses in the single-family residential zone were complying with the city ordinance prohibiting more than two unrelated people from living in the same house. On-street parking that makes passage through the intersection difficult, especially for school buses, could be a symptom of non-compliance, Morgan said.
Howard said he had not investigated or attempted to enforce the ordinance, because he believes its unenforceable “without drawing blood” to determine if individuals are related. Fowles said he believed the ordinance would hold up legally, but proving a violation in court would be difficult. Barnes suggested reviewing the ordinance, and Thomas said the planning and zoning commission, which originated the restriction should be brought into the discussion.
First-reading approval was given to an ordinance that would allow the police to impound a vehicle that had accumulated $100 in parking fines without the vehicle being in violation when it is towed. Previously, a vehicle had to be illegally parked when towed, even if it already was subject to $100 in fines.
Police Chief Larry Brock said the ordinance needs to be toughened “so people realize there is a consequence” to non-payment of parking fines. Citing violators to district court is practical only when fine amounts are much greater than $100, Brock said, and then violators may not honor their court summons.
Bill Robinson can be reached at brobinson@
or at 624-6622.
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Richmond burglary reports for May 14-18
Register Staff Report
The following burglaries, reported May 14-18, are being investigated by Richmond police
A resident of Wesley Court reported a Wilson bow with arrows and an unknown brand shotgun had been stolen from her residence sometime in the previous two weeks. Estimated loss: $800.
A resident of Foxhaven Drive repo
Laurence named Register publisher
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Keith Blevins, Community Newspaper Holdings Inc. chief operating officer announced Laurence’s appointment Monday.
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