GPD awards, Voter IDs, and Federal Disaster Loans surround council meeting
Barren County Progress
Last week, Glasgow City Council recognized Glasgow Police Department officers who worked in Bowling Green and Mayfield to help assist those cities after the deadly tornado outbreak in December 2021.
The Kentucky House of Representatives awarded them with a citation of heroism. Glasgow Police Chief Jennifer Arbogast presented each of them with an award.
“I couldn’t be more proud of all the law enforcement officers here in Glasgow that work here,” Arbogast said, “It’s an honor to work with them—they go above and beyond.
The officers who assisted in Bowling Green worked for a week from the day the tornado hit until they were no longer needed in the neighboring city.
Glasgow was one of the agencies Mayfield reached out to ask for help with the devastating results left behind.
The chief said the officers who went to the cities weren’t facing an easy task. She said the officers were shot at as well.
Overall, Arbogast said the Glasgow police officers are notably dedicated to their community.
The team that assisted in Bowling Green included the following Officer Howard Garrison; Officer Johnny Vance; Sergeant Wesley Hicks; Officer Josh Hardin; Sergeant Nick Houchens; Major Terry Flatt (Flatt led both the Mayfield and Bowling Green teams for the department); Lieutenant Jessie Barton; and Lieutenant Steven Fields.
Glasgow Mayor Harold Armstrong noted his appreciation for the officers who stayed behind to carry the extra load for the department.
“I’d also like to thank all of the other officers that are in our department because they worked some of them double shifts, some of them overtime to keep us safe here while the rest of the police officers were working in these areas,” Armstrong said.
Federal Disaster Loans
Ying Elliott with the U.S. Small Business Association addressed the mayor and council regarding the Presidential Declaration KY17286. The presidential declaration is for 24 counties within the state of Kentucky dated 12/12/2021 for the severe storms, straight-line winds, flooding, and tornadoes that occurred last December.
Elliott provided details regarding financial loans following major disasters. Following major disasters, Elliot said, the Small Business Association (SBA) is a major resource of federal recovery assistance. Not only are small businesses eligible, but businesses of all sizes. Also included for potential eligibility of SBA disaster loans are homeowners, renters, non-profit organizations, and places of worship.
Elliott said interest rates for long-term government loans through this program can be as low as 2.83% for businesses; 1.875% for non-profit organizations; and 1.4% for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30-years. The amount of loan is based on the amount of damages less the recovery amounts received from other resources.
Businesses of all sizes and private non-profits may borrow up to $2-million and homeowners up to $200,000.00.
Economic recovery loans are also available if a major disaster causes businesses and non-profits to suffer economic loss.
Elliott said there are steps to take and to begin with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) registration by registering online at www.disasterassistance.gov or calling 1-800-621-3362.
If FEMA refers an applicant to SBA, applications can be completed at www.disasterloan.sba.gov or visit a recovery center. Applicants can also call 1-800-659-2955. The average time to process the application is two to three weeks and the first disbursement is typically made within three to five days after receiving the signed closed documents.
There are no closing costs and no repayment penalty to pay in advance. The first payment is deferred for 18 months from the promissory note date. The deadline to file for the physical damage loan has been amended to 3/14/2022. The deadline to file for the economic injury is 9/12/22.
The council approved the first reading of an ordinance amending the Glasgow Zoning Ordinance to rezone the property located at the end of Professional Park Dr. and the end of Trista Ln. containing 2.456 acres from a General Business District (B2) to a Medium Density Multi-Family Residential District (R4).
The council approved a resolution to authorize filing an application with the Department of Transportation with the United States of America for a grant under Fixing America’s Surface Transportation Act (also known as the FAST Act) and a resolution committing a local share of funds necessary to secure a grant application.
Councilman Joe Trigg brought up a discussion at the end of the meeting that wasn’t on the agenda regarding state-issued photo identification specifically for voting purposes.
Initially, Trigg said, “We request your assistance in approaching the governor or Jim Gray with the Department of Transportation in acquiring a full-time facility in Barren County.”
He said currently there are 20,000 licensed drivers who have to commute to either Bowling Green or Columbia if there are any issues to acquire a new driver’s license. Trigg also said, “A lot of the licenses they issue have on them a little black statement that says you can’t use these driver’s license for identification purposes and the concern is come voting time when you go to vote…you’ll be denied an opportunity to vote.”
Armstrong said if the council instructs him to address the issue at the state level, he will. A resolution is anticipated regarding the matter after the council voted unanimously to have the mayor look into the matter.
A lot of confusion may surround the “Real ID” versus a regular driver’s license/photo ID. A Real ID, effective May 2023, will be required for airport security checkpoints for U.S. commercial air travel or to visit military bases and federal facilities that require an ID for entry. A noticeable black star will be printed on the Real ID cards at issuance.
However, according to a fact sheet from the State of Kentucky regarding Senate Bill 2, which is the law requiring a photo ID to vote effective July 15, 2020, there are numerous ways for a voter to present identification at the voting booths.
Voters can visit https://elect.ky.gov/Frequently-Asked-Questions/Documents/SB%202%20FAQ.pdf to ensure they know the various options for identification when it comes time to vote. If an individual does not have a photo identification card, an affidavit can be signed called a “Reasonable Impediment Declaration” and present other non-photo IDs.
At this time, the Popup Driver Licensing Programs by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet will be held quarterly throughout the year. Appointments must be made and the traveling service brings all the services offered in Driver Licensing Regional Offices to local communities. Spots are limited, and as of print time, were nearly full for the March 9 clinic.
Visit https://telegov.egov.com/kytc_mobile/AppointmentWizard/121/1175/1 to schedule an appointment. The popup clinics do not accept cash, but will accept debit/credit cards, check, or money orders.