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Park Hills Pays Respect to Councilman Who Died, Will Soon Appoint Replacement

At the beginning of the Park Hills City Council meeting Monday night, Mayor Matt Mattone acknowledged the death last week of Skip Fangman, who was part of the council till the day he died.

"I want to say how thankful I am for Mr. Fangman," Mattone said. "He always helped me to understand things, if I needed help."

One by one, each council member said a few words of remembrance for Fangman, citing all the contributions he and his wife Millie have made to the city, and saying how much he loved his city.

"He was a good man," said Councilwoman Pam Spoor. "We were lucky to have him."

Mayor Mattone said that they were not going to do anything about the process of replacing the councilman at the meeting, since the loss was so fresh. Attorney Todd McMurtry explained that council had full authority to appoint a new council person with a majority vote, but that there is no specific ritual that council has to follow. The appointment and any discussion will have to be done in a public session and since the appointment has to be made within 30 days, that will require a special meeting of council. One resident asked if there was a possibility of waiting until November to let the people decide, and McMurtry said if council does not put a new member in place within 30 days, the governor will step in and appoint someone.  However, he explained that all six of the council seats are up for election in November, so whoever is appointed now will have to run again for the seat in the fall.

Council voted on the first reading of the trash collection contract. In an emergency ordinance the contract with Rumpke had to be passed as soon as possible to get the contract signed with no interruption of services. Council knew they were going to go with the contract but couldn't pass the ordinance until the budget was passed. The new contract raises the cost for solid waste and recycling from $163.56 a year to $175.80 per year for three years, with the option for two more years, raising the price 46 cents each year. Council then authorized the mayor to sign the contract.

In another first reading of an ordinance, council listened to the tax rates for the city which are the same as last year, but have to be set by statute. The tax rate for all real property assessed as of January 1, 2016 is fixed at $.209 per $100 of valuation. The road tax for all real property is set at $.155 per $100 of valuation for road maintenance and repairs. The tax rate for all personal property is fixed at $.334 per $100 of assessed valuation, and the tax rate for all corporate franchise and intangible properties is fixed for general purposes at $.75 per $100 valuation.

Bids were opened on Monday morning for the work to be done on Aberdeen Avenue. City Engineer Jay Bayer recommended that the low bid from Paul Michels and Sons for $357,893.35 be accepted by council, and it was. He then told council that the work that has to be done by SD-1 comes to $87,499, which the SD-1 will split with the city, making the total for the project $314,143.85.

Council voted to change their insurance carrier to the Kentucky league of Cities to save the city as much as $5,000 a year. Their agency, Crawford Insurance, recommended the change because the city thought they might be paying too much.

Councilwoman Pamela Spoor addressed council about an email circulating in the city concerning a church across the street from the city building which was bought by the Catholic organization called the Missionaries of St. John the Baptist. Spoor had been on the board for the church, but is not now. She also said she has leased living space for the pastor, Father Shannon Collins, but Attorney McMurtry said that that is not a conflict of interest, in response to a resident, Andrew Smith, who asked about the possible conflict of interest. Another resident, from Rose Circle, was concerned that the church has put out directions for people outside the city to come and attend services at the church, and Spoor said the church was only inviting people from outside the city to come to the first service, which is a special event. Spoor said they don't expect the congregation to be large on a day to day basis.

One resident of Old State Road came to ask if the church builds a grotto into the hillside would the construction have to be regulated and McMurtry said yes they would have to build to code. 

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contrubutor