SUMMER weather is clearly upon us, and we hope you’ve had the opportunity to get out and enjoy those traditional summer activities.
OUR THANKS GO OUT …
… to council member Abby Jackson who will be leaving the council coincident with her moving out of our city. Abby has been an extremely active member of the council and has done an excellent job, even serving the City as a volunteer coordinator for the Fourth of July parade before her tenure on the council. She will be missed. We wish her only the best for the future.
FOURTH OF JULY PARADE
The changing nature of our demographics and limited participation in the parade at this venue, as well as the availability of volunteers for this completely voluntary undertaking has prompted a re-evaluation of this event. We will continue to ponder the future of such celebration but, for now, the continuation of this event is not planned. The positive feedback and growing participation regards our Octoberfest assembly suggests we need focus our resources on insuring it can be continued.
The first readings for next fiscal year’s budget and ad valorem tax ordinances was held at our May meeting. The second reading is scheduled for our June meeting. Next year’s taxing calculations have been complicated by the recent increase in property value assessments … the overall increase for property values in Indian Hills was on the order of 24%. By law a city cannot increase its year over year tax revenues by more than 4% without a referendum. As we do not know what the future may hold, the council is uneasy with changing our basic tax rate which has served us well and remained unchanged for years. Additionally, we understand that numerous assessment appeals have been filed and we believe many of them will result in reassessments to some degree. Accordingly we have made conservative estimates of where our total assessment will settle. Therefore, in order to maintain our tax revenue at a consistent level, our plan is to keep the tax rate where it has been and to increase the discount for early payment prior to December 31st from 12.5% to 20.0%. This change will be reflected on the bills which will be mailed out later in the year, and we ask that you be mindful of them and make payment on a timely basis to take advantage of the increased discount.
SHREDDING & RECYCLING REVISITED
While the majority of the feedback we’ve received has been positive, there have been issues in the past two years which have inconvenienced some folks, and given us reason to look for ways to improve.
First we need to clarify the nature of this event and perhaps better align some mismatched expectations. From the very beginning, it has been sponsored and paid for by an independent entity other than the city, an entity that did so as a goodwill gesture to the citizens of Indian Hills. Of course the city council wholeheartedly endorsed it. When the initial sponsor decided they could no longer underwrite the event, Republic Bank, through the efforts of council member Chip Hancock, stepped up and assumed that role … and we are most appreciative for their having done so.
As to the event itself … because of the completely voluntary nature of the collections, there is no way to know in advance the volume of shredding and recycling materials that will show up. Two years ago the shredding went on without a hitch but we were overwhelmed with the volume of dated electronics that appeared. As a result, residents who showed up with electronics in the latter minutes of the collection period had to be turned away. Last year, something of a reversal occurred due to the fact that the backup shredding truck, which would have otherwise been available, was in a shop for repairs. So when the primary truck was filled to bursting, some residents with papers to be shredded had to be turned away. In contrast, the previous year’s issue regards electronics did not arise.
Without any way to accurately predict the volume of shredding and recycling that will be brought forth, the possibility remains that residents could overwhelm whatever arrangements are made. While this possibility will always exist, we believe the advantage to our residents that does exist outweighs the possible inconvenience that might exist, and we have encouraged Republic Bank to continue with this event … and they have agreed to do so.
We will continue to look at ways to mitigate the possible downsides. One suggestion that’s been made and appears likely to happen is to change the venue to one where traffic back up will not be an issue. Dunn Elementary School has been suggested as an alternative and we seem to be on track to make that happen.
Specific details as to the where and when of the next shredding event will be published once they are firmed up but, if recent tradition holds, that will likely be late in the first quarter of next year.
GAS LINE INSPECTION / REPAIR
In April, 2013, LG&E began a 5 year inspection program focused on gas service risers (property line to meter) and meter piping. Their crews will be working in our area in the summer and fall, 2015.
- During inspection, customers will receive communication on their door via a hangtag & brochure.
- The hangtag will advise if repair work needs to be done, and an approximate timeframe for the work.
- The brochure will provide general information and FAQs about the program.
- Miller Pipeline is the contractor working in our area. Miller employees will have LG&E Contractor IDs. There will be contact info for Miller Pipeline on the door hanger if additional questions.
- There will be paint and/or flags marking the location of underground utilities prior to repairs.
- Customers are not required to be home during repairs. Gas service will be turned off during the repair. If a customer is not home, the repair crew will leave contact information for the customer to call to arrange for a technician to return and relight their service. Someone of age 18 or older must be present to provide access into the home when the service is restored.
Yard waste pickup is a service provided by Eco-Tech on an individual subscription basis at a rate determined per the city’s waste collection contract. The rate for July, 2015, through June, 2016, is $52.53. Due to the fact that, by law, all city contracts must align with the city’s fiscal year (July-June), yard waste subscriptions must also run coincident with the fiscal year. The nominal rate we’ve obtained and the costs of servicing an account dictate that proration is not an option. If you do not presently have the yard waste service but are considering it, now is the optimal time to subscribe. You may do so by calling Eco-Tech at 935-1130, and identifying yourself as a resident of Indian Hills.
Effective January, 2015, all contained yard waste collected in Metro Louisville must be in reusable containers, paper yard waste bags, or compostable bags. Non-contained yard waste may be bundled and tied (no longer than 4 feet, no heavier than 50 pounds, no twigs greater than 3 inch diameter). Per Metro Louisville ordinance, waste haulers are prohibited from picking up yard waste in plastic bags.
INSURANCE PREMIUMS TAX …
… is paid by all life insurance companies, stock insurance companies, mutual insurance companies, and all captive insurers doing business in Kentucky. This tax is assessed by the state on all insurance premiums for policies written in Kentucky. Insurers are required to identify on their premium invoice the amount of the tax and to what governmental jurisdiction the policy is assigned. When you get a premium notice, please verify that it is coded to Indian Hills. It’s important that we keep these dollars in our community.
STREET SIGN REPLACEMENT
The oldest street signs in our city are on the order of 30 years old. We have begun a program to replace all of the signs in our city with one of a common design, starting with the oldest and working forward in sections based on the age and condition of the existing signs, the capacity for sign production, and with an eye toward spreading the costs over time.
By Chief Kelly W. Spratt
As most of you are aware, violent crime in our jurisdiction is extremely rare (thankfully), but the charts below show the crime data reported by the Indian Hills Police Department to the Kentucky State Police. This information includes all crimes reported through 02/28/2015 and depict the reduction in overall crime over the last few years. The "Total Crime Reports" figures include every item listed above plus minor crimes, such as criminal mischief.
We (the police department and communities we serve) can work together to keep these numbers low by sharing information and taking steps to prevent crime. Remember to always lock your doors, remove valuables from your vehicles, and immediately report any suspicious activity by calling our dispatch at 893-2677.