Politics & Government

Lexington council gives initial approval to law aimed at sale of stolen scrap metal

An ordinance to control the sale of stolen scrap metal, including copper, was given first reading by Lexington's Urban County Council on Thursday night. Council member Kevin Stinnett said it is a stronger law than an earlier version he sponsored.

The ordinance will have second reading at next week's council meeting. If approved, will take effect immediately.

One provision removes the requirement for scrap-metal sellers to have a sellers license. Instead, the city's three scrap metal dealers will check the name of a seller against a restricted seller list provided by Lexington police. Also, to sell a junk car, the seller must provide proof of title or documentation from the Fayette County clerk's office that the vehicle has been junked.

Scrap metal dealers and police would meet at least quarterly to compare notes on how the arrangement is working and decide whether changes need to be made.

Stinnett said revisions to his proposal make this ordinance stronger by increasing cooperation between dealers and police. By the end of May, the city's three scrap metal dealers will be on a database that records every purchase or sale of metal, with identification of the seller. "That is a huge step forward," Stinnett said.