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Fireworks planned for Heritage Festival; food truck festival update

At the Lewisport City Council on Thursday, March 21st, City Administrator Jason Roberts said the planning for this year’s Heritage Festival is going “smoothly” and is scheduled for: Thursday, Friday & Saturday, May 30th, 31st and June 1st.

“Conexon Connect (fiber internet provider) and Independence Bank both sponsored $4K for fireworks,” Roberts announced. “Yager Materials is sponsoring a tugboat and 2 barges for us to be able to shoot them off the river. That’s gonna mix it up a little bit.

We have all the bands picked so far. Thursday night, Randy Lanham is playing. Friday night, Blackford Creek, and then Saturday we’ll have 2 bands since we’re starting things a little early, which is Josh Merritt and Lohden Boys.”

Food Truck Festival Update

As reported in previous editions of the Hancock Clarion, the Hancock County Tourism Board announced their proposal to work with the City of Lewisport on having a Food Truck Festival in downtown this year. “They still want to do the food truck thing but they decided they want to give the City of Lewisport $10K for a band and for us to come up with a time to have the event,” Roberts explained.

Mayor Chad Gregory said, “We were going to plan to have it in the fall. When we got more detail, we were going to bring it to the meeting. I’ll go ahead and tell you, I was just throwing them ideas. The sidewalks down here in the square (downtown), we’re kind of wanting to do something similar to the Louisville Pumpkin Trail, and possibly have the band there then, along with the food trucks.”

Saturday, October 19th will land on the weekend after Fall Break for HC Schools, and is the date tentatively set for the festival. In planning the date, it was vocalized that they didn’t want to have it during Fall Break in case people would be out of town and miss the festival.

Audit Report

The City’s audit report was provide by CPA Jennifer Estes, Supervisor at Alexander & Company. She said the City has a strong net position, and that it has remained steady. “I looked at a few cities around your same population,” Estes said. “I picked 4 in a close range in population. None of them had a higher net position than you all did.

Your debt balances went up, but it’s kind of not reflected because that’s your retirement balance they require us to put on there for how much your retirement plan is as a whole. It went up by $350K on your report. It’s not reflective of where you’re at on the day-to-day.”

Gregory explained to council members, “And, our cash is down. In a nutshell, that covid money that we had, we’re spending it over time. That’s what’s happened.”

Estes added, “The covid money came in last year and you were still spending it out this year; It’s not a concern. If you look at those federal and state grants from when that covid money came in last year, that number was over $500K in income. Some of those expenses are still coming out in this year. It’s not really reflective; it’s just crossed over.”

Planning & Zoning

It was approved by the council for Lewisport citizen Julie Vogt to serve on the City’s Planning & Zoning Board.

Budget Workshops

The council discussed the scheduling of upcoming Budget Workshops. Gregory told council members, “We can have one or a couple, whichever you prefer. I would prefer it be somewhere in the middle of April and the beginning of May.”

Public Works Update

Superintendent R.J. Simpson reported, “Everything is going good. We’ve been doing some spring cleaning. We got a little mowing done. We went around and reclaimed some of the lawns that we had to dig up for services; we sowed grass, etc.

The lift station has been completely bypassed now. It’s all up and running good for now the way it is. We got all that installed and going good. We did a little bit of curb and sidewalk work on the concrete where we had some areas that were damaged. We got the new service truck in too; That is really nice. We’ve been putting it to work.”

Police Dept. Update

Chief of Police Greg Linn reported, “We’ve been pretty busy since the last meeting. To date, we’ve had 57 calls since last month. Nick Jarboe (newest Lewisport City Police Officer who was injured during his training last year) is getting stronger every day.

Timewise, we really don’t know just yet, but as he’s progressing we’re starting to see light at the end of the tunnel so hopefully we’ll have him back much sooner than later.

Everything else is going pretty well. I went last week to the KLC Risk and Safety Conference in Bowling Green, a lot of good information. They had about 50 or 60 more attendees than last year, which is good.”

Military Banners

Councilman Kelly Vanover announced, “I talked to the banner company (The Military Banner Program, owned and operated by U.S. Army Veteran Michael Martin). They’re going to make us a (sample) banner. I talked to Jason about putting them on the poles around the park, etc. They are 18×36, and around $79-89 a piece with a 6-month warranty. They’ll replace them if they get damaged; they’re made of good vinyl. Sometimes communities ask for sponsorship from businesses.”

Once the council makes a decision on how many to order, the banners will arrive in 3 to 4 weeks. There are 9 poles around the park downtown where they can be placed.

Councilwoman Mary Margaret Hawkins also mentioned that she thinks the U.S. Flags in downtown Lewisport are “way too small compared to other cities” while they were on the topic.

Budget Amendment Ordinance

City Attorney Charles Kamuf read aloud the Budget Amendment Ordinance (#23-5) for Fiscal Year 2023/2024, and it was approved by the council. This is an ordinance amending the City’s budget for the fiscal year beginning on 7-01-2023 and ending on 6-30-2024.

By estimating revenues, resources and appropriation of funds, the council has reviewed the budget and has made necessary modifications, and an annual budget proposal and message has been prepared and delivered to the city council, and approved.

The Annual Budget is amended, for example, with General Fund Revenues now at $650,316, and the Road Fund at $32K.

By Jennifer Wimmer

 

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