CITY OF UNION, KENTUCKY
SPECIAL MEETING OF CITY COMMISSION
NOVEMBER 3, 1999
The Special Meeting of the Union City Commission was called to order by Mayor Warren S. Moore at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, November 3, 1999, at the Union City Building.
The following Commissioners were present: Mr. Johnson, Ms. Logsdon and Mr. McClellan. Also, in attendance: City Clerk Kathy Porter, Attorney Greg D. Voss was present in absence of City Attorney David W. Martin, and City Engineer Willard H. Rusk arrived at 7:48 p.m. There were thirty-one (31) citizens in attendance.
Mayor Moore advised that by law the only subject that could be discussed at this meeting tonight is the future of U.S. Highway 42. Mayor Moore informed the Commission that Ms. Logsdon attended the Kentucky League of Cities Conference last month and returned with some ideas and information from other politicians in regards to the future route of U.S. 42. At this time Mayor Moore turned the meeting over to Ms. Logsdon who then explained that presently the road will be a five-lane highway with no breaks or islands and she sees a lot of problems with a straight five-lane highway. She expressed that the Kentucky Department of Transportation (KDOT) works for us and we do not work for them. She asked for support and signatures so she can take this to a higher level. She asked if the majority of Union doesnít want to see a straight five-lane highway that we need to act quickly and before they actually acquire any land. She has heard that some residents have received their letters stating the intent but the acquiring has not been done yet. Ms. Logsdon commented that she has made connections and that some other smaller cities are going to work with us. She expressed that we need to draw up a petition, get signatures and decide on a plan to go with.
Resident Ms. Valerie Blair of Sycamore Drive asked what is being proposed and where.
Mr. McClellan commented that you have to look at what the ramificationís are, of not only what is going to happen here in the City of Union but could happen in the four countyís in the Northern Kentucky area. He was told by KDOT that this could jeopardize other road buildings in Northern Kentucky. Ms. Logsdon was told that this was not true.
Ms. Blair asked if they explained what or how it could jeopardize. Mr. McClellan explained that their explanation is that this road has been under study now for eight years, plans are drawn, and money has been expended. Alternate routes originally were considered, which are routes that we have investigated earlier; we sent representativeís down to Frankfort trying to get a split road or trying to get routed across the creek. The state keeps coming back with the straight five-lane highway. Mr. McClellan commented that this road is supposed to handle in the future 18,000 automobiles a day one way in the next ten years. He expressed that probably the best thing to do is to try and get a split lane road so that it is not a raceway road. He does feel that we may be in jeopardy if we try to stop the road. Mr. McClellan expressed that one of the suggestions is boulevard it, and there was opposition from EMS and the Fire Department that this would not be convenient for them to get to in case of an emergency.
A resident in the audience questioned about the green space on the current proposed corridor. Mr. McClellan answered that right now the corridor is 125 feet wide, which is with the right-of-way and the five-lane providing a bike path and sidewalk.
There was a question asked that if the split lane idea would be using the current U.S. 42. Mr. McClellan answered no.
Mayor Moore commented that when this project first came up eight years ago or longer the city asked the state to follow the existing corridor, basically to take up the old U.S. 42 and replace with something new. The state came up with all kinds of reasons to not route it that way; it cost too much, there are historical sites, there are hazardous waste sites, and they would have to raise the road four feet which would cause water problems for the businesses. After several trips to Frankfort and talking with the Commissioner of the Department of Highways, and Governor Paul Patton as well as having attorneys, business owners and property owners going to Frankfort and the state keeps coming back to the straight five-lane highway.
Mayor Moore stated that some people have told Ms. Logsdon that we shouldnít have to accept the straight five-lane highway. Mayor Moore expressed that if we could get the majority of the citizens in the City of Union to sign a petition saying that they do not want this five-lane 125-foot monstrosity, but would like a highway that would be similar to Paris Pike in Lexington, KY. Maybe this would convince the state that the city and the population donít want another interstate.
Mayor Moore expressed that the City Commission has basically been fighting this route forever and it is time for the citizens to do something. A citizen in the audience asked if this is being rehashed of everything that has been fought for the past eight years. Mayor Moore answered that the only thing that hasnít been done in the past eight years is give them one thousand signatures. Commenting that it may have some effect, it may not, but if we donít try then the straight five-lane highway is what we will get.
Ms. Logsdon commented that the difference is that we have sister cities working with us; and more support from the people.
Mr. McClellan recognized Mr. Daugherty who had served on the steering committee when the original split road concept was presented to the county and the state. The road commission came back and said absolutely no way.
A citizen in the audience asked did they give a reason. Mr. McClellan answered that they say this is the best land use.
There was a question from the audience if the split road would be one-way on the north side and one-way on the south side. Mayor Moore answered in the affirmative.
After Mr. McClellan showed the audience on the map what the suggestion would be for the split road concept, he asked for a show of hands getting a consensus from the people that were in the audience. Do they want to investigate and see what more we could do on getting a split road concept, or do we want to go with what the state wants us to have? A citizen asked in regards to the split road concept if it is the intention here that the state would basically buy the right-of-way including the developed real estate in between the roadway.
Mayor Moore stated that in effect what would happen is that the state would purchase the right-of-way for the highway and the property located in between the highway, that would still be owned by the original property owner.
Mr. McClellan explained that if we went with the boulevard the extra 50 feet would have to be purchased by the Transportation Department and that would add to the cost and that 50 feet would have to be maintained by the Transportation Department.
Mayor Moore commented that he has no problem with Commissioner Logsdons idea to put together a petition to go along with the split road concept. Also, mentioning that the state could come back and say you donít want the straight five-lane highway than you are not getting anything.
A citizen in the audience asked Mayor Moore to give an idea of what Paris Pike in Lexington, KY looks like.
Ms. Logsdon asked to see by a show of hands of how many people in the audience received a flyer about this special meeting tonight. Also, how many would be in favor of signing a petition against the straight five-lane road.
Mayor Moore asked for a motion to direct Mr. McClellan to obtain from Boone County Planning and Zoning, a copy of the split road concept and revised Union Town Plan would be attached. And direct the City Attorney to draft a petition stating that the undersigned are opposed of U.S. 42 being rebuilt as it now exist but would prefer the split road concept as shown on the attached map. Upon motion by Mr. Johnson, seconded by Ms. Logsdon. Motion carries.
Mayor Moore asked if anyone would be interested in volunteering to go door to door with a petition to please provide his or her name and information to the city clerk.
There being no further business for this special meeting Mr. McClellan moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:20 p.m. seconded by Ms. Logsdon. Motion carried unanimously. Mayor Moore declared the special meeting adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Warren S. Moore, Mayor Kathy Porter, City Clerk