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 Junction City to enforce use of house numbers

The Junction City mayor and city council are working on clearing up several “housekeeping” issues within the city limits.

During the regular council meeting Thursday night, Mayor Jim Douglas said the lack of visible house numbers is a problem, especially for law enforcement and emergency responders. “This has been an issue brought up year after year after year,” he said.

Also, there’s a common problem of house addresses not running in order. On one street in town, “There’s 104 and 151, side by side, on the same side of the street. That’s a problem you have. We’ve got these situations,” he added.

Police Chief Russell Preston agreed. He said when new officers come on the force, someone may tell them, “go to John Smith’s house. Well, they don’t know John Smith. … We could spend hours looking for a house number.” And time matters in an emergency situation, Preston added.

“People have to display a house number or receive a citation,” Douglas said, and the council members agreed.

The council decided to have the police chief leave a note on doors and in mailboxes that need to have the address properly displayed before he gives the residents a citation.

In other business:

  • Preston informed the council that he has issued several citations recently to residents who have overgrown weeds, and debris in their yards. Most of them have complied, he said. But he’s taking some of them to court.

One of the residents he’s taking to court has weeds four-feet high and seven rusty vehicles have been sitting on the property for more than five years and refuses to clean it up according to Junction’s ordinance.

  • The council also discussed how to address the problem of businesses that don’t obtain licenses to operate in the city limits.
  • Mayor Douglas said the city had received its bill to be a member of the Boyle County Economic Development Partnership. However, the EDP recently fired Junction City’s representative without consulting with the town. The EDP also hasn’t contacted the city requesting it appoint another representative.

“They’re the ones who fired our rep,” Douglas said. So he expects the EDP to contact him about the situation before he sends the organization any money, he told the council.

  • The possibility of the city hosting its annual Halloween Trunk-or-Treat event was discussed. There was some debate on if the governor would allow large crowds to gather and celebrate Halloween, and how a drive-by parade could be organized so that kids in costumes would stay in the vehicles and candy could be handed out through the windows.

Mayor Douglas told council members who wanted the event to take place should come up with a plan and present it at the next meeting in October.

  • The council voted to accept the historic cemetery at the end of Meigs Lane and will be responsible for maintaining it. The council named the property Meigs Lane Cemetery.

Mayor Douglas said the Boyle County Property Valuation Administrator asked Junction City to take over the lot in order to remove it from the tax rolls because taxes hadn’t been paid on the property for many years. No one has claimed to own the property.

City Clerk Susan Music said someone researched the plot several years ago and discovered that if anyone wanted to purchase the land they would be responsible for paying all of the back taxes and paying to move all of the graves, which would probably be more than 20 grave sites.

  • The council held the first reading of an ordinance to approve the Planning and Zoning Commission’s recommended zone change for a business located at 275 Margus Drive from Single Family Residential to Highway Business to allow the expansion of an auto repair business, which still follows the city’s newly adopted Future Land Use Map.
  • P&Z Director Steve Hunter also gave a “heads up” on another zoning change that would eventually come before the council. Hunter said the same property owner that filed the previous zone change, had also filed for a zone change on land he owns across the road behind Hardee’s and the BP station on Henry and Shelby Station Street.

Hunter said the developer plans on building 275 units of residential and commercial buildings. Commercial properties will be facing U.S. 127, while single-family homes, four-plexes and eight-plexes will be constructed on multiple streets behind the commercial properties.

“That’s a big deal,” Hunter said.

Douglas agreed. “We need that.”