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Council waives sidewalk for Joseph Storehouse on first reading

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By CONNIE ESHThe Wilson Post

Lebanon City Council agreed to allow Joseph Storehouse to add storage space onto its existing food pantry without having to either build a sidewalk over sinkholes or pay a fee in lieu of the sidewalk at the regular meeting Tuesday night.

Bob Evans, director of the agency, told the council that Joseph Storehouse is currently feeding about 2,100 people a month and could do more if it had the additional space it needs to store and package the food that is available. He said the $8,000 the food ministry would have to pay for the sidewalk could be better used in feeding hungry people.

Ward 6 Councilor Kathy Warmath asked for a work session to consider completely revamping the sidewalk ordinance. “The provision of sidewalks has gotten ahead of reality,” she said.

Both Ward 1 Councilor Alex Buhler and Ward 3 Councilor William Farmer expressed concerns about possible legal repercussions of approving the waiver, but all six councilors voted to pass the ordinance on first reading.

Farmer also asked Commissioner of Public Safety Billy Weeks to explain the fire safety issues at Lebanon High School.

Weeks told the council that to the best of his knowledge the issues cited by the State Fire Marshal were being dealt with by school maintenance people.

He also said that the fire marshal had asked how the Lebanon Fire Department intended to rescue students in the event of a fire, since the shape of the building prevents getting a ladder truck near enough to second floor classrooms in some cases.

“I asked him if he had inspected the three-story Mt Juliet High School, and how they intended to reach that since there is no ladder truck over there, and that issue disappeared,” Weeks said.

Farmer also asked Weeks if he had heard anything more from the county or Mt. Juliet about the possibility of special fire taxing districts, but Weeks said he had not.

Weeks suggested the city might consider charging Mt. Juliet for services if Lebanon trucks roll for a Mt. Juliet fire.

The council also passed on second reading an ordinance to ban street corner or parking lot sales of puppies and kittens.

The ordinance prohibits selling or giving away dogs, cats or other domestic animals in local parking lots or other public areas, except by licensed dealers at their shops or by agencies like New Leash on Life.

The council also approved on second reading an ordinance to alter the Municipal designations concerning flood plains.

The council approved the bidding of a contract to survey for natural gas leaks and an ordinance that would approve bids to work toward abandoning existing 16-inch cast iron water main.

Weeks was authorized by council to purchase Drug Trak software for the police department.

Staff Writer Connie Esh may be contacted at cewrites@wilsonpost.com.

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