By Mary Beth Sallee
The Horse Cave City Council met in regular session on Monday, March 11 with all city council members in attendance.
Ricky Woodard acknowledged the Horse Cave City Council with his concern regarding interim Horse Cave Police Chief David Graves. Woodard accused Chief Graves of drinking on the clock and stressed to the council that action needed to be taken to avoid any further tarnish upon the City of Horse Cave and the city’s police department. In regards to the concern, council member David Lindsey asked city attorney Pat Ross what steps a citizen must take to bring about a specific charge against a police officer. Ross stated that to make a charge, a citizen must issue the complaint in writing and swear that the contents of the writing are true. The written complaint then must be notarized and filed with the clerk. Council member Vickie Rogers questioned Mayor Curry if Woodard’s complaint was the only one he had received in regards to Graves. Mayor Curry said that this complaint against interim Police Chief Graves was not the first the city had received and that he and Ross were “looking into things” at the moment. Ross added that policemen have a different job protection than anyone else that works for the city and that discipline, suspension, or termination of a police officer must be carried out according to specific procedures. One of the procedures, as Ross explained, is the complaint in writing, notarization of the writing, and submission to the clerk before the mayor can act upon the complaint. Rogers continued her questions of concern, asking if the prior complaints that Mayor Curry had received about Graves were submitted in writing. Mayor Curry stated that he had previously received complaints in writing about Graves and that he had passed those complaints along to Ross. Mayor Curry continued to explain that he and Ross are taking steps to ensure that the correct actions are taken. Rogers asked if any of the prior complaints made in writing directly accused Graves of drinking while on duty and operating a city police car. No direct answer to her question was given by Mayor Curry or city attorney Ross other than stating, once again, that the accusations were being looked into.
Horse Cave Water Commission
Mike Thompson, on behalf of the Horse Cave Water Commission, came before the Horse Cave City Council recommending that the council enact an ordinance approving an increase in the water rates that the Horse Cave Water Commission charges its customers. Thompson stated that this recommendation for the increase in water rates would be necessary in order to offset the wholesale rate increase made by the Green River Valley Water District (GRVWD). The HC Water Commission currently purchases its water from the GRVWD. The water rate that the Horse Cave Water Commission charges its customers would increase by 58 cents per thousand gallons of water used. At the current rate, a household using 3,000 gallons of water per month is billed $28.13. With the proposed rate increase, this same household would instead be billed $29.87, an increase of $1.74. This is the first increase the HC Water Commission has implemented since the spring of 2010. Thompson has spoken with representatives of businesses and corporations in Horse Cave, including Dart, Sister Schuberts, T. Marzetti’s, and Kentucky Chrome, in regards to the proposed water rate increase. Thompson also stated it would be possible for the Horse Cave Water Commission to be broke in three to four years if the ordinance for the water rate increase did not pass. In a unanimous vote, the council members voted to approve the first reading of the water rate increase ordinance. The ordinance will need to have a second reading approved. If the second reading is approved, the water rate increase will take affect soon afterwards. Thompson stated that he estimates the water rate increase to take affect no sooner than one month.
Recreational Trails Program Grant
Mayor Randall Curry explained that the city is currently taking steps to reapply for the Recreational Trails Program grant. A resolution was presented that proposed to develop recreational resources by applying for the Recreational Trails Program grant. The grant is limited to funding 80% of the project costs. Under the this resolution, the City of Horse Cave would be responsible for holding 20% of the project cost in reserve. The 20% that the city would need to hold in reserve equates to approximately $30,500. This reserve does not mean that the city is required to contribute that amount to the program, but that this contribution is a possibility. The resolution was unanimously approved by the council. If the city receives the grant, a proposed project will construct the City of Horse Cave Sunset Dome Walking Trail. The walking trail, trail side, and trail head facilities would be located at 100 Church St., Horse Cave. The proposed trail is ½ mile long by 5 ft. wide and would be made of an exposed aggregate trail. The city would also plan to add 6 wood benches, a parking lot, and trail signs.
Mayor Curry announced that the Community Easter Egg Hunt will be held April 20 on the Owens Hotel property. The egg hunt is sponsored by the city of Horse Cave and various churches within the community. A ribbon cutting will also be held on March 15 at the Medical Center at Caverna, Rural Clinic, to recognize the opening of the chemotherapy clinic. Mayor Curry also requested that an executive session involving litigation against the city occur at the end of the council meeting, and at that time it was required that the city council members and clerks go into a closed session.
Treasurer Annette Brown reported no significant change in the city’s budget, as everything is on track. Brown said that she was observing a few items, but nothing extreme that would impact the budget. She did point out that when making the monthly budget, the council at the time was not aware that Hidden River Cave would receive the grant to have the swinging bridge added. Since the cave is operating under the city’s tax number, the bridge addition had to run through the city budget.
Horse Cave Officer Heather Childress stated that from February 10 through March 11, the police department responded to 15 accidents, including 2 with injury. There were 6 alarm calls, 4 burglaries, 8 civil complaints, 1 death, 6 domestic abuse disturbances, seven 911 hang-up calls, 12 lockouts, 3 attempted suicides, 10 suspicious persons or vehicles, 4 thefts, 2 motorist assists, 5 welfare checks, and 7 miscellaneous. The total number of calls logged through dispatch were 171.
Fire Chief Donnie Parker that the total runs for February were 50, with the total runs for the year thus far standing at 95. There were 29 EMT/Medical runs. Department assists included 7 for the city of Munfordville.
Byron Logsdon stated that 4 graves were opened and closed, 4 citizen assist calls were made, and 2 dogs were picked up.