The Wilmore City Council had a lot to discuss Monday night but took few actions, opting instead for what is expected to be a lengthy work session next week.
One of the major discussions of the night was the possibility of taking over the Wilmore Public Cemetery, currently owned by the Crouse family.
Despite heavy financial difficulties facing the city, the council is united in its effort to find a way to take responsibility of the cemetery, which could add at least $20,000 to $25,000 to the budget.
The council discussed several benefits of the city taking over the cemetery, including creating a green space by possibly putting the cemetery under the direction of the parks and recreation department.
Councilman Jeff James also proposed setting up a foundation or endowment where citizens could donate or set aside funds in their will to offset costs.
Some Wilmore citizens were at the council meeting, urging the council to take over the cemetery and take “pride” in Wilmore by caring for those who founded the community.
Also in attendance was the funeral director from the recently opened Maple Grove Cemetery in Nicholasville, Terry Smith, who told the council his operation was interested in looking into helping Wilmore facilitate the need of funeral arrangements, providing tents, chairs, stones and graveside services that the city may want to outsource.
The council then spent the better part of the meeting with city attorney Bobby Gullette in an executive session discussing the legality and process of deed transfer.
No action was taken when the council returned to session, and the members continue to look for ways to maintain the cemetery and fit it into next year’s budget.
While considering the budget, financial director Haley Ellis presented the council with the estimated tax revenue for the 2012-2013 fiscal year.
The budget already plans for 4-percent property tax-increase, though the council has yet to propose the increase and will discuss its options during the next work session. Not all council members agree that the city should increase property taxes; James and Lynn Cooper have voiced opposition to that idea. If the council doesn’t approve the increase, it will need to find a revenue increase to compensate.
Also during the council’s work session next Monday, members will discuss the growing problem of high, unmaintained wild grass and weeds around dilapidated or abandoned homes.
Mayor Harold Rainwater also said that while driving in the city he has noted at least two open, unprotected swimming pools at foreclosed homes.
“There’s no fence or barricade around these pools,” Rainwater said. “They’re a dangerous hazard to kids, pets and adults.”
Gullette made a copy of the Nicholasville city ordinance, which deals with “nuisances” such as high grass, dangerous areas and littering.
Gullette said there was “no magic formula” to creating the ordinance to deal with the problems Wilmore is having and the council can adjust it to fit the city’s need.
The council added the discussion of the overgrowth problem and the Nicholasville ordinance to next Monday’s work session at 6 p.m.