Council reverses decision to build temporary salt barn off Winchester Road

bmusgrave@herald-leader.comAugust 29, 2013 

Urban County Council members on Thursday reversed an earlier decision to place a second salt storage facility off of Winchester and New Circle roads after receiving complaints from residents near the proposed site.

Council voted unanimously to terminate the lease for the property that was formerly the Continental Inn.

During Thursday's meeting, Loys Mather, the president of the Eastland Parkway Neighborhood Association, thanked the council for addressing the residents' concerns. More than 800 residents live in the Eastland Parkway area.

"We can't thank you enough for listening to us," Mather said.

On July 9, the council voted 11-3 to approve a lease for the construction of a temporary facility for salt storage at that location until a permanent second site could be constructed in January 2015. The city has one salt storage location off of Old Frankfort Pike.

But residents in the Eastland Parkway Neighborhood Association complained that the temporary salt storage facility was an eye sore, an environmental concern and a traffic hazard. Neighbors said that they were not aware of the city's decision until after the July vote.

Earlier this week, the city asked for bids for other sites. But no bids for alternative sites were received, said Sally Hamilton, the chief administrative officer.

Hamilton said Thursday that the city has been looking for alternative sites on city-owned property. She said the city officials think the Continental Inn site was appropriate but they did not want to anger residents if they could find another site.

"We were trying to find a solution for this and make sure the neighborhood was not affected," Hamilton said.

City officials had said that a second salt storage facility was needed because it took trucks too long to reach the outskirts of the city after traveling from the Old Frankfort Pike location. A second salt storage facility would be more efficient and could save on gas, they argued.

Constructing a temporary salt storage facility would cost the city more than $190,000, including $18,000 a year for the lease.

Councilman Kevin Stinnett, who represents the 6th District where the temporary salt barn would have been located, proposed the resolution to exercise a 60-day opt-out clause in the contract for the Winchester and New Circle roads property. Stinnett was one of three council members to vote against the original proposal in July.

Beth Musgrave: (859) 231-3205. Twitter: @HLCityhall.

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