Annexation of the Pine Mountain State Park Lodge was a focal point during the Pineville City Council meeting. According to mayor Sherwin Rader, the state has contacted the city and made a request for the lodge and restaurant to be annexed.
In 1989, the council and mayor had made plans to annex the park. There was a first and second reading on the proposal to do so. The issue was revisited in 1993 and reaffirmed.
Despite the valiant efforts in the past, the lodge has yet to be annexed. There has been no mapping or surveying of the area according to Rader.
Now the city wants to take steps to have the goal achieved. Councilman Tuck Woolum made a motion to have the city attorney contact the state attorney to discuss the steps that need to be taken to have the process began.
If the lodge is annexed, no homes will be affected. The proposal will only include the lodge and restaurant. This move could help Pineville acquire an occupational tax from the lodge. A restaurant tax would also be collected.
The budget was also discussed during the meeting. “I would like to have a workshop where we sit down and go over everything,” said Woolum. “We come in here and you ask me to approve something and half the time I don’t know what it is.”
Rader said anyone wanting to discuss the budget can sit down with her and do so. A first reading of the budget was held during the meeting, but amendments can be made later.
According to Rader, the city came out with a surplus of $215,669 with the budget.
Woolum also asked questions about police retirement. Officers are averaging $13 ,000 to $14,000 a year in retirement, according to Woolum.
“That is unheard of,” said Woolum.
Rader stated hazardous duty pay increased to 37 percent. For every dollar paid to a policeman or fireman, the city has to pay 37 cents into retirement, according to Rader.
If an individual is hired at the police or fire department that has paid hazardous duty pay, the city must continue paying into it. If a new recruit is hired that has not received hazardous duty pay, the city can opt out of paying it.
Brian O’Brien presented a general proposal to the council about a city website. O’Brien would host the website. The website would hold information about Pineville and include happenings within the city. There would also be links to outside websites in relation to the city.
Other business taken care of during the meeting included:
• Approval of minutes;
• Appoint Tim Cornelius to Pineville Utilities Commission to fill John Combs vacancy 7-1-12 through 6-30-15;
• Reappoint Joyce Bennett for the three year term 7-1-12 through 6-30-15;
• Approve resolution in support of a veteran’s hospital facility in the Fifth District.
Anthony Cloud is a staff writer for the Middlesboro Daily News. He can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.