Danville, Boyle approve of Junction City rejoining P&Z

Published 10:09 pm Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Both Danville City Commission and Boyle Fiscal Court approved the new interlocal agreement this week to bring Junction City back into the fold of Planning & Zoning. Perryville approved the move last week during its regular meeting, as well.

P&Z Director Steve Hunter told the city commission Monday night that the last interlocal agreement was made in 1987.

“It started with (P&Z) attorneys, went through everybody, the city manager looked at it, the mayors looked at it, two county judges have looked at it — we’ve been working this for a while,” Hunter said. “And now we’re at the phase where we need all the governments to ratify it to get this thing rolling forward.”

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Commissioner Denise Terry asked Hunter what this means for the P&Z voting bodies — the P&Z Commission and the Board of Adjustments — as far as giving Junction a seat. “They now gain a seat; has that seat always been allowed for and just empty, or do we add a seat?”

Hunter said state law requires boards of adjustments to be either five or seven members.

“In that case, we’re going to handle it the way it was before. The city (Danville) puts three members on, the county puts three members, then Perryville and Junction will have a joint appointment,” he said.

Perryville and Junction City might alternate who makes the appointment, or agree together on who appoint, he said.

“There currently are seven members on the board of adjustments today, with a Perryville member in that seventh seat,” he said.

The P&Z board is different, Hunter said. It’s a 10-member board with four each from Danville and Boyle County, and one each for Perryville and Junction City.

“When Junction City pulled out, it became a nine-person board, because they left one seat open,” Hunter said. “Coming back, they’ll put their one member on, bringing us back up to 10.”

He said some planning commissions have 12, 16 or 20, so they are not limited to how many members they can have.

After getting through the local governments’ ratification, Hunter said the information has to be sent to the Secretary of State’s office to be recorded, and Junction will formally be back on.

The motion to ratify the interlocal P&Z agreement was unanimously voted in, as it was by the other local government bodies.

Parks & Rec

Commissioner Rick Serres reported back to the commission about the “working group” he and Commissioner Kevin Caudill attended just before the meeting Monday. The group is a subcommittee formed out of the recent Danville-Boyle County joint meeting held to discuss the master parks plan completed by the consulting firm Brandstetter Carroll.

He explained that Magistrates Phil Sammons and Tom Ellis are also a part of the subcommittee, and City Attorney Steven Dexter and Bryce Perry, chairman of the Parks & Rec board, were also in attendance.

Serres said he thought it “went well, and I think we’re moving forward,” and that Dexter is going to “summarize what we talked about, and bring it back to the ‘working group’ so that we can say, yes, that’s exactly what we talked about, and then return it to our respective bodies, to see if we can move forward … I think that’s really all that I want to say about that at this point …”

As reported Tuesday in The Advocate-Messenger, Danville is negotiating with Boyle County for outright control of Millennium Park and the Parks & Rec agency. Boyle County could be compensated for giving Danville its half of Millennium Park through a land exchange and/or financial means.

Sammons said at the subcommittee meeting that the county proposed giving its interest in Millennium to the city in exchange for property the city owns on Redrier Lane, and 10 acres of the city-owned fairgrounds property, on which the county could possibly build a new EMS station. The county was also prepared to offer $50,000 annually for park maintenance.

During the subcommittee meeting, Dexter said the consensus was for Parks & Rec to be a city-run department, with the county contributing a capped amount through a service agreement, approved annually by the fiscal court. He said the city “would allow the Parks & Rec board to be restructured” and move forward with a new director, who would ultimately report to the city manager.

Commissioner J.H. Atkins, who was leading Monday night’s commission meeting in Mayor Mike Perros’ absence, told Serres and Caudill he appreciated “you guys volunteering to serve on that committee” — an attempt at humor since he volunteered them for it during the Feb. 4 joint meeting. But he wanted to add a serious concern, as well.

“I have a comment I want to direct to our city attorney,” Atkins said. “I felt really uncomfortable last Monday at the joint meeting, and I’d like to just put everyone on notice that if we have joint meetings like that again … I’d appreciate it if we request your attendance at those meetings … I just felt really uncomfortable about some of the things that were discussed.”

City Manager Ron Scott said he took the blame for Dexter’s absence.

“As management function of that meeting, our counsel asked if he should attend, and I advised him that it was not necessary,” Scott said. “So your comment should direct itself to me.”

Atkins said he understood. The joint meeting “just got to be about a lot of other things,” he said.

He was referring to how the issue of the Boyle County Detention Center was repeatedly brought up during the discussion over implementation of the Parks & Rec master plan. Judge-Executive Howard Hunt said he would prefer if someone with the jail’s interest be appointed to the Parks & Rec subcommittee so that ideas could also be exchanged to help the county come up with solutions.