Georgetown will have to rely on its $9.8 million in reserves as revenue has fallen due to closings and layoffs due to the COVID-19 pandemic, said Mayor Tom Prather during the council’s regular meeting Monday.
“We know revenues will be depressed,” he told council members. “We’re going to have to manage things carefully. We are in a dficit spending mode, but we are more fortunate than many cities because of our reserve.
“Even so, we’ll probably burn through some of that this fiscal year.”
The council met Monday virtually via Zoom due to state orders prohibiting a gathering of 10 or more. It was the council’s first meeting since March 9.
The city is waiting on revenue figures since Gov. Andy Beshear began closing businesses leading to a large number of layoffs due to the coronavirus, Prather said. The Kentucky League of Cities is anticipating most Kentucky cities will lose as much as 25 percent of its revenue during this fiscal year, which ends June 30, the mayor said.
“Business are especially suffering,” the mayor said also noting the 1,800 temporary workforce members released last by Toyota Motor Manufacturing Kentucky. “We’re going to have to get by on management and faith.”
The city has not laid off any employees, Prather noted.
“We went through to determine ‘essential and non-essential’ employees,” the mayor said. “What we found is all of our employees are essential, so every city employee is working. My hope is we can keep it that way.”
The mayor praised the city’s sanitation workers as front-line workers against COVID-19.
“They service some 1,500 households, picking up trash,” he said. “During a typical week, our one-arm truck picks up 12 tons of trash. During the shutdown last week, they picked up 22 tons because everyone is cleaning out closets and garages.”
The mayor also noted that while other first responder departments were short-handed, “they are getting the job done.”
Six recruits have completed their training and will be joining the Georgetown Fire Department this week, he said adding he city normally has a nice reception for new recruits and their families, but that will be on hold for now.
“I will meet with them via Zoom,” he said with a laugh.
In other business, the Lexington-Fayette Urban County Government formally signed an agreement to pay $475,000 towards construction of he sewer line down U.S. 25 south to the Georgetown Estates mobile home park. The package stations servicing the mobile home park is failing with raw sewage spilling out. The mobile home park straddles he Scott-Fayette counties line.
—An agreement with the second bidder on the right in/right out entrance-exit at Walmart on Cherry Blossom Way was completed when the first bidder could not meet all the contractual requirements. The project will be delayed due to the pandemic shutdown, but it is hoped the project will be completed this summer, said Devon Golden, city attorney.
—The council moved to proceed with condemnation proceedings on easements needed to complete the U.S. 25 sewer line project. The city will obtain three appraisals and funds will be placed in an account that can be accessed by the property owner if they wish. The amount will be the mid-range of the three appraisals, Prather said. The landowner can then pull the funds and accept the city’s offer or proceed through civil court, he said.
“But this allows the project to proceed,” Prather said.
The council meet again on April 23 via Zoom.
Mike Scogin can be reached at email@example.com.