Free public transit coming to Nicholasville

Published 4:57 pm Wednesday, January 24, 2024

At this week’s Nicholasville City Commission meeting, a presenter announced the arrival of fare-free public transportation in Nicholasville through the Bluegrass Community Action Partnership’s transit division.

Right now, Nicholasville already has Nichtran, which goes around the city of Nicholasville to healthcare providers and through a few different neighborhoods. Tickers ate $2 per ride. See the current route map and schedule here.

Lacy Johnson, Bluegrass Ride’s fixed route driver supervisor, presented the news to the commission. The expansion in the city will include three more buses and three more routes, including intercity routes.

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Route one will include access to: CVS, Brightview, Walmart, Goodwill, Bypass Plaza, City Hall and various neighborhoods.

Route two will include access to: Library, Post office, Dollar General, Kroger, downtown and various neighborhoods.

Route three will include access to:Save-A Lot, Nicholasville Elementary School, the housing authority, downtown and various neighborhoods.

More intercity routes will be presented in the future with access to Brannon Crossing.

Right now, the Nichtran does not have signs, but the new Bluegrass Ride routes will have bright blue signs to make spotting the bus stops easier.

The same program has skyrocketed public transportation ridership numbers in Georgetown and Danville.

The buses will run from Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. The current proposed launch for the fare-free buses is Feb. 19.

City federal monies audit

The commission heard a presentation of the June 30, 2023 financial statement audit. This audit is required by the federal American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) guideline that came with the federal grant money. Nicholasville received $8,132,444.64 in 2021 and 2022 for pandemic assistance.

According to certified public accountant Ryan Adams, the auditors’ opinion of the city’s audit this year was unmodified and favorable for the city. Here are some of Adams’ main takeaways:

• It was a very favorable year. There was a significant change in net position for government activities and business-type activities. Driving that increase was several things, one main reason was donated infrastructure.

• Occupational taxes and other tax yields were increased.

• Expenses have increased due to ARPA spending.

• There was also an increase in police and fire and a lot of that has to deal with increase in wages, personnel, and also an increase in pension.

• There is a sizable drop in the city’s cash year over year. This is due to the city raking advantage of higher interest rates.

• These audits for ARPA will likely continue until after 2026.

New hires and rate changes in the city

Several new hire and pay rate changes were approved at the meeting:

• The commission approved a request in the police department to hire Police Officer Recruit William Copper at the rate of $22.23.

• The commission approved a request in the fire department to hire firefighter recruits, pending results of background check, physical, and drugs and alcohol check at the rate of $13.90 for Nicholas Edge, Matthew Demoss, Christian Everly, and Alexander McCoy. This brings the city’s fire department to full staff, according to Commissioner Bethany Brown.

• The commission approved a request in the street department for hourly rate adjustments due to compression for the following: Todd Wilson at $25.71; Billy Joey Davis at $25.71; Jackie Cottle at $26.69; Ricky Blackford at $37.62; and Dave Brown at $40.

• The commission approved a request in the street department to progress employees to street equipment operator positions, including Heath Hager at the hourly rate of $26.69 and Daniel Sims at the hourly rate of $20.15.

• The commission approved a request in administration garage for rate adjustment due to compression for Dale Durham for $32 an hour even.

Ordinances

Second reading

Ordinance 142 – 2024

An ordinance amending the code of ordinances for the city of Nicholasville, Chapter 2. Administration, Article XI. City Policies, Division 2. Cemetery Regulation, section 2-1201. Charges for opening, closing grave and section 2-1202. Charges for cemetery lots.

First reading

Ordinance 141-2024

An ordinance amending the official zoning map for the city of Nicholasville from A-1 (County) Central Agriculture to B-1 (City) Central Business District for approximately 21.62 acres of property located at 1281 Keene Road.

Ordinance 143-2024

An ordinance establishing a decree of annexation of 128.43 acres of real property situated along the southerly side of KY 3374, 1450 Hoover Pike into the city of Nicholasville, Kentucky.