Danville has about six months to get its ordinance in accordance with Kentucky Heritage Council guidelines or it will likely lose its federal Certified Local Government status, said City Attorney Stephen¿Dexter.
One of the major problems with the ordinance was Mayor Bernie Hunstad’s desire to have all signage within the city handled by the Danville-Boyle County Planning and Zoning Commission rather than the ARB, according to discussion during the meeting.
The state said that notion was unacceptable for the historic district. Hunstad said Monday he simply intended to have a “one-stop shop” for people desiring to place signs at their businesses or homes.
Ordinary maintenance and repairs of buildings within the historic district still do not need to come before the ARB, which Dexter said the committee “warmly embraced.”
“(The ARB¿members) didn’t want to be seen as a Gestapo,” Dexter said.
The next step is for Dexter and state officials to investigate what type of monetary penalties will be appropriate if someone demolishes a historic building within the district.
During the public comments portion of the meeting, Danville resident and licensed attorney Mark Morgan suggested the penalties for demolition in the historic district be something “meaningful,” such as twice the value of the property. He said low fines for demolition would not deter companies from destroying historic buildings in hopes of making a profit.¿Dexter acknowledged the ARB has had discussions along similar lines and that the matter is under careful consideration.
In other business:
- Commissioners voted 4-0 to pay the monthly bills in the amount of $181,561.98. Commissioner Ryan Montgomery recused himself from voting because one of bills is a $1,098.50 check issued to his father’s company, M&M Electric. Commissioner James “J.H.” Atkins asked for further details about the purchase from M&M Electric. City Engineer Earl Coffey said it was a “specialty (part) we can’t get from anybody else.”
- Janet Hamner, a former city commissioner, asked for clarification on the amount of insurance placed on the former BISCO building as well as city hall. City Manager Ron¿Scott said Danville’s insurance agent determined it would cost $5.1 million to replace the former BISCO building and about $7.8 million to replace city hall. While city staff and elected officials agreed with Hamner’s assessment that the insurance policies far exceed the actual costs of the properties, they said the insurance policy takes into account square footage and acreage. Hamner said in response, “I thought you could make that rational for me, but you couldn’t.”
- Commissioners went into executive session for about 10 minutes regarding “the acquisition of an easement,” Dexter said. The city attorney said no action was taken during the session.