Mercer concerned about digging near Anderson-Dean Park

August 27, 2003|ANN R. HARNEY

HARRODSBURG - A retention basin the city is digging at Anderson-Dean Community Park remains a bone of contention between city and county elected officials. The park is jointly owned by the county and city.

Harrodsburg Mayor Lonnie Campbell said Tuesday evening the basin is a work in progress and it has two purposes. In addition to slowing water runoff from the park across U.S. 127 and into Brentwood and Alexander Heights subdivisions, the soil is being used to cover new sewer lines laid in the county to complete a major sewer project mandated by the state.

The subject was not raised at the regular Harrodsburg City Commission meeting Tuesday, but when asked before and after the meeting, Campbell and City Clerk Lorene Hembree said the city sent a letter to county government explaining the work being done at the front of the park.

Nevertheless, county officials maintained at a regular meeting of the Mercer County Fiscal Court that they had not been consulted and weren't sure if the necessary planning had taken place before the basin was started.


The new basin is just south of one dug earlier, and county officials said they don't want the new one to look like the basin already in the front of the park. However, Harrodsburg Police Chief Ernie Kelty lives in Brentwood in one of the places that floods first after a heavy rain and he said there has been no flooding at his home since the first basin was dug.

Fifth District Magistrate Wayne Jackson said he had met with Campbell to discuss the issue, but he still was not satisfied with the work being done there.

The park, he said, is used as a blueprint for the entire state and the first basin is an eyesore. "I'd like the county to be involved," Jackson said.

"Who do we have on board who knows how to do it? We have another pond next to the one they're building; I don't want to see this one go the way it is."

Jackson said that he didn't discuss the retention basin per se with Campbell. He was most concerned with the use of the soil and the effect the digging would have on the public's impression of the park. Campbell said he has addressed the issue with the county.

At a suggestion of Third District Magistrate Larry Peyton, Mercer County Judge-Executive Charlie McGinnis approved the appointment of Peyton and Jackson to a committee to further study the basin. McGinnis, weakened by his battle with cancer, used a microphone and speaker so he could be heard as he chaired the meeting.

Constable agrees to not stop any motorists

In another issue, Peyton said he had talked with Sixth District Constable James Rice and the constable had agreed not to stop any motorists until he receives some training. At the Aug. 12 meeting of Fiscal Court, magistrates raised the bond for Mercer County constables from $10,000 to $1 million.

The action followed a discussion with Rice in which he said he would not stop his activities of pulling over motorists whom he believed had violated traffic laws, including improper lane changes. He said he has never given a citation, only a warning.

The court told Rice at a meeting earlier this year that he and his fellow constables could not use blue lights and sirens on their vehicles, so Rice said he put white lights on his four-cylinder 1989 Pontiac 6000. Sixth District Magistrate Eddie Burton said witnesses told him Rice had wrapped his lights in blue cellophane. Rice denied it.

Kelty and Mercer County Sheriff Ralph Anderson said white lights on a vehicle carry no authority in Kentucky. Communications Supervisor Ruth Ann Bryant said that while Rice may have an identification number used to write citations, he has no contract with Central Dispatch that would enable him to get information about a vehicle he had stopped.

The court rescinded the change of bond required for Mercer County constables, reverting it to $10,000.

Central Kentucky News Articles