GLASGOW – At the fourth and final town hall meeting planned by the Glasgow mayor for this year, one person other than six council members and two city staff members was in the audience.
Despite the low attendance for Quadrant 4's meeting Monday and no huge attendance at the others, Mayor Harold Armstrong, who made the idea of the meetings part of his campaign platform last year, said he definitely does not consider the effort a failure, because he and city personnel have been able to resolve some of the issues discussed already.
He said that hopefully by the next round of meetings, people in the respective areas of town will help get out the word to their neighbors and the crowds will be bigger next time.
The questions and comments have ranged from physical street condition and the condition of neighboring properties to animal control issues and speeding and traffic cutting across properties.
At Monday's meeting, one question that's been previously addressed arose again from Councilman Terry Bunnell, who lives in Quadrant 4, and that is lighting at North Jackson Highway (U.S. 31-E) at the Veterans Outer Loop. Armstrong explained again that both of those are state-maintained highways, so there are certain restrictions that apply, but the city is working on trying to get some lighting at least near the intersection. He said the requests regarding lights at loop intersections and work on certain streets have become a continual, familiar refrain to Transportation Cabinet officials
“They've heard us [complain] about West Main Street and Columbia Avenue so much that, when he comes up, he'll say, 'What else have you got that you want on your wish list [besides] Columbia Avenue, West Main Street, and he starts naming,'” the mayor said, referring to Joe Plunk, chief district engineer for the Transportation Cabinet's District 3, based in Bowling Green but which includes Barren County. “I said, 'Well, when you get those done, we'll bring you some more problems,' and he just laughs. He knows that they're out there.”
Plunk spent several minutes at a Glasgow Common Council meeting in August providing updates on the Columbia Avenue and West Main Street projects, along with a few others, and the challenges involved and explaining the budgeting process and where they fit in the picture.
Bunnell also asked about the status of getting a third fire station, which at one point had been planned for a location in the vicinity of Quadrant 4. Armstrong said land had been donated and a grant had been procured to help pay for it five or six years ago, but the previous mayoral administration “abandoned it.” It wasn't quite as simple as that, but the project did get placed on a back burner.
After a few minutes discussing ideas about best locations and such, the mayor said it is something that could be looked at again, and he suggested that the council's public safety committee should spend some time evaluating options.
The council members asked a few other questions, and as the meeting was wrapping up, the one other person in the audience, Randle Norris, asked about when the next round of meetings would be.
Armstrong said he would probably skip January and February and start the second round in March or April, but he wants to have the next round finished before the budget for the next fiscal year is completed. The city has to adopt a budget by the end of June.
Because of other items demanding his attention for the first portion of the year, Armstrong said when announcing the dates that they were starting a little later than he had wanted, but he moved forward with the first one Sept. 29, which had been postponed from an earlier date he wanted. The second came just a week later, Oct. 7, but it and the subsequent ones were the first Mondays of three consecutive months.