Nicholasville annexes 123 acres for residential, commercial development

Published 8:59 am Wednesday, January 26, 2022

The Nicholasville City Commission unanimously approved an ordinance annexing over 123 acres on Ashgrove Road during Monday’s meeting.

Resident Chris Moore asked the commission whether the city still had an annexation committee and whether impact fees would be collected to help the city defray the costs of capital expenditures needed to service the newly added property.

“Many years ago, the city started an annexation committee around 2000 to make sure Nicholasville had responsible growth,” he said.

The committee helped the city implement impact fees when Brannon Crossing was annexed, Moore said.

“As part of the incentive package, the developer had to give about $1 million to help build the fire station out there,” he said, noting that when the properties are annexed, there is higher demand for city services in those areas.

Commissioner Alex Carter noted that the annexation committee still exists. It makes recommendations on annexations to the city commission, which gives the final approval.

City Commission also unanimously approved a memorandum of understanding between the city and Hewlett Irrevocable Family GS (generation-skipping) Trust.

The memorandum set impact fees of $1,500 per single-family acre, $10,500 per commercial acre and $700 per unit in a multi-family acre, which the trust or developer must pay to the city.

While discussing the memorandum, Tim Cross, planning commission director, said that during the annexation committee’s January meeting, the members discussed increasing future impact fees on multi-family acreage.

“It’s time we re-evaluate that fee,” he said. “Different developments provide different levels of activity for our police and fire departments.”

Since the process of annexing the 123.2274 acres on Ashgrove Road has been going on since 2019, the committee felt the impact fees had to stay as they were, Cross said.

In other matters, Alan Norvell with Blue & Co. LLC presented the commission the Fiscal Year 2020-21 audit. The fiscal year ended June 30, 2021.

Due to the pandemic, the state deferred new auditing standards for FY 2020-21, but Norvell noted a few standards the city will have to look for when auditing the current fiscal year.

One new standard will be the inclusion of leases, such as fleet or equipment leases. Government entities will have to include payments for the leases, as well as the current value of the items being leased in their audits.

Norvell said the city restructured some of its fleet leases, which could add some liability to the city’s financial statement.

The other new standard that could impact the city’s future audits is its conduit debt. According to the Governmental Accounting Standards Board, conduit debt is issued by a state or local government on behalf of a specific third party or parties. Third parties use this financing for projects such as affordable housing developments, not-for-profit hospitals and economic development.

“We have done some preliminary work, but we haven’t done enough to give you an exact impact,” Norvell said. “I don’t have enough information to feel I can give you an analysis now.”

As for the rest of the audit, Norvell said they found no problems with the City of Nicholasville’s internal controls or financial reporting.

In other matters, the city commission unanimously approved an agreement between the city’s fire department and HAIX, based in Lexington.
Neighboring departments through the area have partnered with the boot manufacturer to model their products for promotional materials. HAIX makes footwear for first-responders.

According to Fire Department Chief Marty Kazsuk, if a department member models a shoe, they would get to keep it for free. He noted that a pair of structured firefighting boots costs about $400.

City Attorney Darren Sammons said that HAIX has not told the city whether the high-quality photos could be used by Nicholasville for social media or branding purposes. The agreement’s approval is pending what the company says.

Meanwhile, City Commission also approved hiring  HMB Professional Engineers to study the sewer and sanitation lines in the older part of Nicholasville, near downtown, as part of a multi-phase project.

The pipes are mostly made of clay. HMB would primarily be conducting flow-monitoring tests to see where water is flowing into the system. The agreement only covers the engineering fees for the project.

The next phase would include fixing manholes and digging up and replacing broken lines.

The work is part of an agreement between the city and the Kentucky Division of Water.

In other matters, City Commission extended their prayers to the family and friends of retired meter reader Randy Olson. The 67-year-old died Jan. 21.
Services will be 1 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 27, at Betts & West Funeral Home with Bro. Bill Bales and Bro. Mickey Stinnett officiating. Interment to follow in Bluegrass Memorial Gardens.

Visitation will be from 4-8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 26, at the funeral home. Memorial contributions may be made to Bluegrass Care Navigators or Bethel Christian Church. An online guestbook is available at www.BettsandWestFuneralHome.com.

News correspondent Nicole Bowman-Layton wrote this story for the Jessamine Journal.