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New grain bin plans nixed by Kenton board

New grain bin plans nixed by Kenton board
By KEVIN BOWDEN
Staff Reporter
A planned new grain bin operation in Kenton hit a dead end at the Kenton mayor and board of aldermen meeting Tuesday night.
The Green Plains Grain Company had planned to set up grain bins on a lot the company owns at the south end of East Taylor Street. The company needed the city to rezone the lot from residential to industrial, but a large turnout of Kenton residents opposed to the rezoning prompted the board to unanimously reject the rezoning request.
“I don’t think a grain bin should be put down there where we live,” Venita Conley told the board.
She was one of four residents of the area who spoke out against the rezoning request.
“I feel like we should have a little voice in what goes on in our community,” she said.
There was also a petition with 91 signatures that was presented to the board Tuesday night.
“There has been a lot of talk about this,” Mayor Virginia Davidson said as she opened the discussion of the rezoning request.
There were several complaints from residents about the potential health hazard that would be created by the location of new grain bins in the residential area of East Taylor Street.
The board listened to the concerns from the residents and then made a roll call vote, with a unanimous decision to reject the rezoning request. The board’s vote effectively halts the grain bin project on East Taylor Street.
Also during the Kenton board’s 45-minute meeting Tuesday night, Mrs. Davidson made an emotional presentation to the family of Ricky Joe Dean. He had worked for the city’s public works department for 14 years, until his recent death.
Mrs. Davidson described Dean as “one of our faithful and loyal employees” as she formally presented a special plaque to his widow, Teresa Dean, and his daughter, Linda Nelson.
“We were proud of him,” Mrs. Davidson said. “He was one of our employees and we’re going to miss him.”
In addition to the plaque that was presented to the family, a second plaque in his honor will be hung at City Hall.
In other action, the board:
• Rescinded its hiring of the Dyersburg accounting firm Joe Enoch & Associates to handle the city’s auditing services, and then hired the Alexander, Thompson & Arnold firm in Union City.
• Was informed by the mayor that work is still being done on a proposed new budget for the city. The staff at City Hall is working on a 2012-13 spending plan, but Mrs. Davidson warned the board that cuts are going to have to be made to balance the budget.
She encouraged board members to look into ways to cut spending within city departments.
The city will begin once-a-month trash pick up as one way to cut spending, according to the mayor. She said notices will be sent out to customers in Kenton announcing the change.
There was also a brief discussion about increasing the water and sewer deposit for renters in the city. Currently the city is charging a $100 deposit, but there are apparently problems with renters moving without paying their final bills.
• Was given a brief report from board member Angie Choate, who serves as the city’s police commissioner. She reported 43 citations were issued in June and the city’s police officers responded to 87 calls during the month.
“The renovations at the P.D. (police department) are going really, really well,” she told the board.
“It looks good, what I’ve seen,” board member Delores Agee said.
“It’s coming together and I’m really proud of the way it’s looking,” Mrs. Choate said.
A majority of the work being done to renovate the Kenton Police Department is being done by Police Chief Kyle Kirk, on his own time, according to Mrs. Choate.
Tuesday night’s meeting was opened in prayer by board member Sarah Skinner.
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at kmbowden@ucmessenger.com.
Published in The Messenger 7.11.12

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