Following is the text from the Spring, 2010, City of Indian Hills Newsletter:

LET'S FORGET ABOUT THE WINTER OF 2009-2010
...and let's think about springtime in Indian Hills.

The winter has been very trying for our City. We have removed more snow this winter than probably the last several winters combined! Snow removal and the purchase of salt were very expensive for our City and did put a strain on our budget. Public Works Director Jim Graven and his crew once again did a great job for us and, of course, having a 24-7 Police Department who initiated the process of putting the snow removal crews to work. As they drive the City and see the need for Jim and his crew to work on specific problem areas; they then immediately call the road crew no matter what time of day or night.

Now is the time of year when we start to prepare our City for spring. Our crews will be trimming, mulching, planting, seeding and doing all of the things necessary to beautify our community for Derby. As the City goes, so go many of our residents, who spruce up their properties, and we encourage residents to take a look at areas where possibly trees and shrubs are hanging over the rights-of-way in our City.

As we begin the mowing season, please be conscious of the times of day your lawn is mowed and considerate of your neighbors. If you have a yard service, please ask them not to mow on Sundays and also not to blow the grass clippings into the street.

U. S. CENSUS

Starting March 15, the U. S. Census Bureau will be mailing the 2010 census forms. We ask that you take time to complete the ten questions that are asked, which we estimate will take less than ten minutes, and mail them back promptly.. The Census data helps determine how $400 billion is distributed to state, local and tribal areas every year. We would make sure that our at-large community gets its fair share by being counted in the 2010 census.

If this census form is not filled out and returned, we may have a census taker at our doors. In the event that this happens, the census worker will have proper ID to let you know that he/she is working for the Census Bureau. We caution you always to be careful and vigilant when someone comes to your door.

A special thanks to our Councilman Joel Deming, who has been our Board representative and has worked with the Census Bureau the last year in preparation for this census. He is a multi-talented person who deals not only with the census, but also in trash collection (and he has been very diligent in keeping them separated).

FINANCES

There are several issues to discuss under City finances:

  • Audit

    We received this year's audit from Cotton & Allen, which covered the period from July 1, 2008 through June 30, 2009. We have an unqualified opinion on the financial statements of our City. We spent within our approved budget and even though we had two damaging storms costing the City over $140,000, we were able to recoup most of the cost from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). This allowed us to maintain our budget and our rainy day funds to meet any additional unforeseen and unbudgeted situations.

  • Budget

    Since our fiscal year ends on June 30, 2010, we are beginning the process of working on the budget of July 1, 2010 through June 30, 2011, Councilman Lyle Spalding, our able Doctor of Dollars, is collecting data for this budget, and hopefully we will once again be able to maintain the same tax rate that we have had for the past ten years. As you know, our police protection and trash collection together make up the majority of our expenses. Police Chief Kelly Spratt continues to operate the City Police Department within his budget, and we will be in the second year of a very favorable trash contract with Eco-Tech.

  • Taxes

    The taxes for the current year ending December 31, 2009, were due by February; 1, 2010, in order to avoid penalty and interest. Currently we have 14 households out of approximately 1173, who have not paid their taxes and who have been assessed 10% penalty plus interest at 1-1/2% per month. This number is actually better than in previous years, and we expect these taxes to be paid. The indication for that is that we have no unpaid taxes other than the current year's delinquencies. If these taxes are not paid by our April City Council meeting on April 15, we will file liens and go to foreclosure.

It always amazes us that the same names seem to appear on this delinquency list year after year Many thanks again to Councilman Spalding and to our Accountant Robin Stilger for their steadfast work on this issue.

LG&E

On the City tree trimming issue, LG&E has completed their trimming in the Country Club Section of our City and is currently working with residents of the Cherokee Section. We think they did a great job in the Country Club Section with very few complaints and were certainly competent and courteous to our residents. Where there were questions, they were quick to respond most professionally. While none of us liked to remove trees, we did lose quite a number in the recent storms, but we are hopeful that the trimming process will provide us with consistent electrical service.

FRESH MARKET

We have informed you about the Fresh Market in newsletters over the last year, and finally on February 3 this market opened. We think it has been a nice addition to our area. They have been responsive to any issues that have arisen. Sam Meyers Cleaners has also opened in the little strip center behind the Fresh Market with other businesses to follow. The original plan, as you may know, called for a Fresh Market, a free-standing bank and a strip center with 4 or 5 small businesses in it. Rumor has it that the free-standing building that was to be a bank might well be a Panera Bread establishment and that one of the other businesses in the strip might be a Graeter's Ice Cream. Both of these we think would be great additions, but would not be particularly good for our collective waistlines. We feel that Luther James, the owner of this property, has turned a sow's ear into a silk purse.

Also, the Metro Government has reconfigured the Rudy Lane/Brownsboro corner to accommodate the increased traffic, and we feel that this has helped. The traffic at this intersection will continue to be monitored.

AZALEA

The only update we have on this property is that the Rite-Aid Drugstore at Chenoweth will move into this area, that it has been approved by the Bauer family, the residents of Mockingbird Gardens and the Metro Government.

Also, the old Azalea Restaurant will be remodeled and will become a restaurant once again.

POPLAR HILL PROPERTY

As many of you know, a resident of Indian Hills sought permission from the Louisville and Jefferson County Planning and Zoning Commission to build 12 houses on a ten acre lot he owns off Poplar Hill Road. After several hearings, the Planning Commission approved the request to develop the property.

Many of the residents who live near the property expressed concern about drainage, flooding, soil erosion, loss of trees and other issues. A resident of the Poplar Hill neighborhood has appealed the ruling of the Planning and Zoning Commission to the Jefferson Circuit Court and, at the request of the resident, the City of Indian Hills agreed to join in the appeal. It could be a somewhat drawn out process in the court system, and we will inform you of significant developments in future newsletters.

COPS CORNER
By Chief Kelly W. Spratt

Finally, warmer weather is approaching. Unfortunately, an increase in criminal activity tends to follow. Our police patrols are meant not only to catch criminals, but also to prevent the crime from happening at all. The first step, however, begins with you. Take the following steps to prevent yourself and your neighbors from falling victim. Lock your doors when out of your home. If you have an alarm system, use it. Keep your vehicle doors locked. Remove all valuables from your vehicles parked outside. Report any suspicious person, vehicle, or activity immediately by calling 893-2677. Sign up for IHPD's Crime Alert System by visiting our website (ihpd.org) and following the links under the "Crime Alert" tab.

TRASH COLLECTION

Following you will find a letter from Eco-Tech about recyclables:

Eco-Tech has been pleased to partner with Indian Hills to provide trash, yard waste and recycling services since July of 2009. First of all, we really appreciate the fact that so many of you look the time to contact us to thank us for our service. We worked very hard during the transition period to ensure a smooth start up, and are pleased to report that with your assistance it was a remarkably smooth transition. And, to those of you who have telephoned us to request an improved way to handle your needs we promise we will always do our best to take the appropriate action to accommodate your request.

One of the very first Indian Hills concern calls we received was, "The drivers are simply compacting all my recycling materials into a rear load compaction truck. Where is it going? What`s going on? Are they simply taking it to a landfill?"

Many residents have called to ask questions about the "single stream" recycling process. Single stream, or fully commingled, isn`t anything fancy. It simply refers to a process in the recycling rear loader trucks instead of being hand sorted by the Indian Hills residents in their kitchen or the recycling drivers on the trucks at the curb.

Once collected, the recyclable materials are transported to the QRS Riverside Recycling in New Albany, Indiana where the materials are deposited into a sophisticated sorting system costing millions of dollars to separate and direct the materials to the appropriate processing area. The materials are then prepared and sent to the appropriate mills or markets for each respective recycling product.

Many communities, including Louisville, San Francisco, Tucson, San Jose, Philadelphia and Dallas have adopted the single stream methodology to transport and process their recyclable waste streams. The major advantages include ease and convenience at the resident level (no sorting or separate recycling bins required), no driver sorting required at the curb and reduced need for multiple recycling collection trucks reducing pollution and wear and tear on streets. Typically, the percentage of residents participating and the amounts they recycle increase significantIy because of the ease and convenience of the single stream program.

Some of the Indian Hills street areas require "smaller trucks" to collect the materials. When and where necessary, we have installed storage racks on the collection trucks to place the recyclable materials in and then transfer them to the recycling route trucks.

A number of residents have asked if they can visit the process facility to view first hand the single stream process and the answer is absolutely yes. Please contact Bryan Siade at 935-1130 if you are interested and a tour will be arranged.

So, when you see all of the recycling materials being compacted in the garbage recycling trucks, do not worry! All of these materials are being transported to the recycling facility.

A couple of reminders. Please go to the Indian Hills website or call our offices if you need confirmation regarding the types of materials you can recycle. Secondly, remember the renewal period for yard waste collection is fast approaching. For those of you that want to continue or add yard waste to your services beginning July 1st, please call our offices at 935-1130. Lastly, you can help us immensely if you will always remember to have your trash, recyclables and yard waste in the appropriate collection location on collection day. Each of us at Eco-Tech thanks you for your support.

On the recycling issue, just a reminder that cardboard boxes need to be broken down and put into the recycling container.

As we mentioned in our winter newsletter, our experience with Eco- Tech has been outstanding. They are truly responsive both to calls from residents and our calls from the Council.

One of the continuing comments from people in our City is not about Eco-Tech. It is about residents who do maintenance in their yards on Saturday and then put the yard waste container at the street, ready to be picked up on Wednesday. This is never an acceptable practice. Please be considerate of your neighbors and the appearance of the City by placing these containers with your trash, garbage and recyclables in storage until time for collection (and then remember to move the empty containers from streetside as soon as they are emptied.)

Enjoy the spring, enjoy our great City and most of all enjoy each other.