The Kerr Building opened to much fanfare in December 2005 after years of disrepair and stalled attempts to revamp the historical structure.
The building had become an example of blight in downtown Winchester when it was condemned and left vacant in 1999. After several attempts to restore the building fell through in 2001, developers purchased the site with the aid of state grants and tax credits and have since turned the top floors into 18 apartments.
City officials reported Tuesday that the space is code compliant and the city could recoup the cost of flooring by renting the property. But who might rent the property remains unclear.
Commissioners discussed offering the office to the Clark County Administrative Office of the Courts, but no formal conversations have taken place on the matter.
Burtner reminded the commission that the city would be taking on a new role as landlord if the space is rented out.
"I'm not saying that is bad or good, I'm just saying that that is what we are doing," he said.
Meanwhile commissioners heaped praise on the new space.
"I think it's a great facility," said Commissioner Rick Beach. "I think it is an opportunity for us to create a revenue stream, and it's certainly compatible with other local governments."
Commissioner Shannon Cox said he too was excited about it.
"We talked about this when the initial proposal for the Kerr Building was done, and this is a great opportunity to have some part of the building that is going to be completely accessible to the public one way or another," he said.
The commission agreed to seek out more comment on the matter and address the office again at the next meeting.
In other business:
â?¢ Local resident Don Wiggins presented a report to the commission, which argues that Winchester Municipal Utilities' consent decree with the federal Environmental Protection Agency will cause a $103-per-month rate increase for the typical city sewer customer between the years of 2009 and 2014. The rate hike will increase another $62 per month between 2015 and 2025, according to his estimates. Wiggins asked the commission to consider the report before the next meeting. Burtner indicated that finding a way to pay for the consent decree remains at the top of the city's list.
â?¢ The commission awarded a 10-year gas distribution franchise to Columbia Gas of Kentucky, allowing the company to sell and distribute natural and artificial gas within the city.
â?¢ The immediate resignation of William W. James from the Winchester-Clark County Industrial Development Authority was accepted. Carlean Hefner was appointed to the unexpired tem, which ends December 2008. Commissioner JoEllen Reed noted that Hefner may be the first woman to ever serve on the authority.
â?¢ The Winchester-Clark County emergency operations plan was adopted.
â?¢Â The commission appropriated $3,000 to the Winchester-Clark County Literacy Council for fiscal year 2006-07. The appropriation was a budgeted expense.
â?¢ Timothy S. Barrett and Susan Bishop were appointed to the Winchester Board of Ethics for three year terms, beginning immediately and ending December 2009.
â?¢ Installation of a streetlight was authorized at the east side of the entrance to Colby Station Shopping center.
â?¢ Doug Oliver was appointed to the Winchester Municipal Utilities Commission for a four-year term to begin immediately and end September 2010.
â?¢ Robert Ligget was reclassified from operator I to operator II. Anthony Kirk was reclassified from sergeant to sergeant/EMT. Joe Harris was hired as a crossing guard.
â?¢ The commission accepted the resignation of George "Kevin" Steele, who has served as the city's codes enforcement officer for about four years. Steele told the Sun that he was returning to the engineering field.
â?¢ The commission received an update on the Kroger Youth Soccer Complex.
â?¢ A request to apply for a historical marker for the late Homer Ledford was approved. A private donor has reportedly agreed to pay for the marker.
â?¢ A request was approved from Winchester Little League to hold a third annual walking parade on April 20.