HAZEL — The Hazel City Council met briefly Monday night to tackle a few issues during its August meeting.
Among the items discussed were the city’s unkept property ordinance and an upcoming meeting in Hazel concerning the expansion of U.S. 641 South. In regard to the ordinance, Mayor John Paschall told the council that the city’s attorney was currently looking over their ordinance, and had provided some new information to the city.
“If you remember, for those who were here last meeting, Joe Thompson made a request that our lawyers look at it,” Paschall said. “The county attorney, Bryan Ernstberger, also called me up and talked to me and said that he too felt it would be in our best interest to go ahead and take it to our lawyer.”
Paschall said that after looking at the new ordinance, the city’s lawyers said that creating an entirely new ordinance might make it harder to enforce. Among the concerns would be the grandfathering in of certain properties.
“If we accept the ordinance as it is, we are going to have a very hard time getting anything done with it,” Paschall said. “Reason being, as a new ordinance you pretty much have to grandfather things in. So if someone has something (out of compliance) already, and we bring in this ordinance that is brand new to the city, we cannot enforce anything.
“So we are going to look at the existing ordinance and we are going to amend it a lot. That way, we can add some teeth to it, but because it is an amended ordinance, it is already on the books. It will be easier for us to go in and enforce what we are going to be doing.”
Paschall said he hoped the city would receive something back from their lawyer this month and that he could present an amended ordinance to the council next month.
Paschall also took time to mention an open hearing that will be held by the Kentucky Department of Transportation at Hazel Baptist Church on Aug. 22. That meeting will provide individuals with the chance to learn about the ongoing plan for the expansion of U.S. 641 South and the potential impact to Hazel residents.
“It is going to be set up in the gymnasium where you can go in, sign up and walk around and ask questions,” Paschall said. “This time, at 6 p.m., anyone that wants to make a public comment can and they will have three minutes to do so. They will also be receiving any kind of concerns or issues up until Sept. 2.”
A letter given to the city from the Kentucky and Tennessee Departments of Transportation said that displays illustrating the alternative studied and the preferred alternative will be presented.
“Attendees at the public hearing will have the opportunity to review alternatives studied and the identified preferred alternatives both in Kentucky and Tennessee,” the letter reads. “Representatives from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and the Tennessee Department of Transportation will be present and available to discuss information presented and to answer questions.”
Also during its meeting Monday, the council agreed to provide its annual donation of $500 to the upcoming Hazel Day event on top of splitting half the costs of portable toilets for the event. The council also agreed to move the date of its next meeting to Monday, Sept. 9, in observance of Labor Day.