A spokesman for the Harrods Ridge Homeowners Association came before the Jessamine County Fiscal Court Tuesday night requesting that the back gate to the neighboring East Cambridge be removed completely and the road through be disconnected.
“There’s a lot of bad blood because of the gate, that I’m sure you already know about that,” Harrods Ridge resident, Lee Rutherford, said. “Nobody has a problem with East Cambridge being a gated community, but I don’t know of any community in Jessamine County or Fayette County that has a front door and back door gate.”
In 2008, the fiscal court voted that there would be no more permanent gates in Jessamine County but that they could be closed at certain times. Just recently, the court formed a special committee to looking into the Cambridge Estates’ two gates.
In April, the Cambridge Estates East Home Owners Association stated that traffic had become increasingly more dangerous and damaging to the roads, which are maintained by the association.
The HOA conducted a study at the rear gate which showed more than 300 cars entered and left the estates in a single day. There are only 42 households in the neighborhood but the study did not account for any traffic through the front gate. The study also clocked vehicles using the gate as a “short cut” at 57 mph in the 25-mph zone.
Magistrates Terry Meckstroth and George Dean were appointed to study the rear gate and the court later approved to changed the times it must be open — from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m.
However, Rutherford said the very existence of the rear gate is causing friction between the two communities, damaging the roads, causing backed up traffic and blocking driveways in his community.
“It’s my understanding that 5,000 people go through East Cambridge monthly, and if I lived in East Cambridge, I’d be upset about that because they do have to take care of the roads,” Rutherford said. “But what I think people need to understand that is 5,000 people coming down Golf Club Drive (which is the connecting road from Harrods Ridge.)”
Rutherford said when he’s driving home, he either has someone “riding” his bumper trying to cut through East Cambridge or he sees traffic backed up waiting to get through the gate that has already closed at 6 p.m.
“I don’t understand that because people can go another way,” he said. “It’s just human nature I guess, but it’s blocking driveways.”
Rutherford continued to say that his community feels like they have never been consulted about the gates or the notified until after a decision was made, such as the gate closing time change.
“‘I’ve got people on Golf Club Drive ready to cause a riot,” he said. “Golf Club Drive was never intended to be a through fare — they’re lousy, narrow roads.”
In the end, Rutherford stated he did not feel his community should be “penalized” by a gated community that already has access through its front gate to Keene Road and that the rear gate must be closed completely.”
Judge-Executive Neal Cassity said that Meckstroth and Dean would look into the gates further and work with the community of Harrods Ridge.
In other business, the fiscal court:
• Renewed their contract with FEMA Public Assistant Disaster. In the past Jessamine County has served with FEMA by providing homes for people in need due to a major disaster, such as Katarina victims.
• Released fund for the Chrysalis House.
• Set up a special work session to be held after the next fiscal court meeting at 7 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 7.
• Magistrate Tim Vaughn commended Jessamine County EMS director Jerry Domidion and E-911 director Shelby Horne for having a good audit and being fiscally conservative with their budget. Domidion gave a very short revenue presentation which he stated before that court that his department had changed the billing agency it used in July 2011.
“(One) of the things we accomplished by that was we found a transparency in the financial records that we couldn’t see with our old billing agency,” he said, “This new agency has increased our revenue.”
Dominidion said that even though there was an increase in ambulance runs he was able to see “clean data” that showed the new billing agency was working better for their fiscal year budget.