By David Stewart
Two Barbourville City Council members were absent from Thursday’s November meeting, Sherman Lawson and David Williams.
Mayor West asked the council if they had come up with a good way to sell or dispose of the city’s surplus property. The council asked Police Chief Winston Tye what he had on hand and if he had any ideas.
Chief Tye said, “We can always use the sealed bid, but I have been looking into online auctions. I just watched London PD use Ford Online Auctions. They will charge us 10% to sell our items (vehicles and seized items). I watched the London auction as it happened. London was expecting to make $25,000. They made nearly $38,000. These types of auctions are advertised over a larger area.”
The council voted to try the online auction. Robbie Cobb, Barbourville Street Department, said he would like to add some trimmers, mowers and a chainsaw. The council agreed.
Barbourville Police Department reported 14 accidents worked, two with injury, 2 DUIs, 51 total arrests, and 29 citable offenses. Eleven cases are still open and the city responded to 31 alarms.
The Barbourville Street Department reported 72 “called in” pickups were completed along with the non-called, A ditch was cleaned out on Lay Street with the help of the Utility Commission, and several street signs were erected on Sycamore Drive, but the main concern is completing the installation of all Christmas decorations.
The Barbourville Fire Department responded to smoke in the Xerox building (Boone Heights area), gas odor in the Greenwood Manor Apartments and an alarm at Pope Hollow.
Corey Moren, Code Enforcement Officer, reported that the city had a very good October collecting taxes. A 2% savings of taxes is offered when people pay them in the calendar month of October.
Moren said, “This helps to jump start tax season, and it actually saves the taxpayers if they take advantage.”
Moren urged the council to get with the county and resign a new Occupational Tax Contract. Prior to 2003, the city and county were at odds. A mediator came in and established an agreement that remained in effect until 2012. At that time, a two-year agreement was signed, and now it has come due.
Tourism’s Denise Wainscott reported the holiday season would be very busy.
• Ferd Ledford has a quilt exhibit at the Tourism Center. A reception for her will be held at 3 p.m. Dec. 7. This will coincide with the Tour of Homes.
• The BBQ Festival is looking for sponsors, teams to enter, volunteers for judges and partners in any way.
• The Snowman Hunt will kick off Christmas in Barbourville with the first clue being announced Thanksgiving Day. Safehouse, LLC has sponsored the $500 prize for whomever locates the snowman.
• The “I Believe in Santa Committee” will be held the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Lineup for the parade will start at 5 p.m. Tourism is working on an entry for the parade.
• Barbourville’s decorating theme this year will be “A Storybook Christmas.” The first weekend for this will be Dec. 5-6. Some downtown merchants will be staying open late. Everyone is encouraged to shop and dine in downtown town.
• Saturday, Nov. 29, is National Shop Local Day.
• The Christmas tree lighting will take place Dec. 5 at 6 p.m. in front of the courthouse, and music from special choirs will be conducted.
• Any and all other events will be held Friday, Dec. 5 and Saturday, Dec. 6, indoors at the Family Life Center in the First Baptist Church.
Wainscott said, “This is a great time to find those unique gifts, get decorating ideas and much more as you visit with regional artisans and crafters at the Christmas Bazaar.” Vendors can apply for a booth by stopping by the Tourism Center.
• Saturday Dec. 6, Knox County Library hosts “A Story Time with Santa.”
• All citizens, local florists and businesses are encouraged to donate Christmas items, such as small trees, door wreaths, etc., to be auctioned with the proceeds going to the Farmer’s Market.
• A “Top Baker” contest will feature cakes, cookies, pies, candies, breads, gingerbread houses and more.