Middlesboro City Council meeting brings several updates, suggestions

Published 2:37 pm Friday, August 23, 2019

The regular August meeting of the Middlesboro City Council was held Tuesday, and the council received several updates from directors and supervisors within the city.

Bell County Chamber of Commerce Director Sheila Durham updated the council on several activities going on within the chamber.

“League of Cities promotional video has finished up and actually had the last cut today with the mayor,” Durham said. “We would like to thank the city council, the mayor and the local businesses that helped with the shots that we needed to make this a great marketing tool.”

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The videos will be placed on the chamber of commerce website as well as the updated City of Middlesboro website.

“They are doing four videos,” Durham explained. “They are doing a welcome video, tourism, downtown and a chamber video.”

Durham reminded the council that Leadership Bell is beginning this week.

“This will be our 17th graduating class, and we will have 10 participants this year,” she said. “Through the chamber’s initiatives, along with the help of Southeast College, this is the first year that we are going to offer continuing education credit hours for these participants.”

Durham also announced that State Treasurer Allison Ball will be speaking at the next Chamber Soup and Sandwich at Pine Mountain on Sept. 12. The meet and greet will begin at 11:30 a.m. and then Ball will speak at noon. She will be adding the on Soup and Sandwich to Eventbrite if you want to register.

“Chamber is doing well,” Durham said. “We have 26 new members this year and we continue to grow. You can find a whole list on our website of our members and everything. We had a great intern this summer from the University of Kentucky. She did a really great job.”

During the department reports, Codes Enforcement Officer Tim Kelley wanted to remind the public that there is a time change for the Middlesboro Codes Enforcement Board. The meetings were typically held on the first Tuesday of every month at 2 p.m. but will now be held at 1 p.m.

Kevin Barnett, superintendent of the Middlesboro Street Department, updated the council on the property clean-ups that are continuing throughout the city.

“We weed eated, cut the brush, and we gave all that to Tim because he does the billing on that but we got eight done,” Barnett said. “That’s a start and they look a lot better.”

Barnet wanted to remind the community that when the street department does limb and brush pick-up that they cannot pick up any store bought wood, remodeling, shingles or tires.

“When I was out yesterday helping the guys and there are people putting out tires and they are putting it next to their brush, and we can’t throw that stuff in our dumpster,” he said. “When they come to pick up our dumpster and see that stuff in there, they will refuse it. No man made products can be picked up, just trees and shrubs.”

Police Chief Tom Busic gave good news during the meeting as well.

“Calls are up a bit but the good news is we had three recruits on standby, and we were hoping to get them in the December class. I was contacted by DOCJT, (and) they are going to open up their recruit class in October,” he said. “Actually we have four recruits going in October. We will have them out hopefully in March. We are bringing three of them on next week and the fourth, he’s got to give his work place a two weeks’ notice.”

Also during the police report, Mayor Rick Nelson said that there will be a special presentation for the officers that have received promotions within the department. Those promotions include:


• Kenny Vanover;

• Joshua Harris;

• Jordon Hurd.


• Joshua Burchett;

• Floyd Patterson;

• William Holder.

Chief Robbie England gave a report for the fire department and he updated the council on the recruit class that is going through the classes currently.

“All nine of our guys have passed the physical ability part, and we moved on and all nine of them have passed the EMT classwork,” England explained. “So, now we are in the process of getting them nationally registered where they will be licensed to be an EMT in the state of Kentucky.”

He invited the community out on Aug. 28, 29 and 30 to the Community Center.

“We will have state fire and rescue down for eight hours each one of those days,” he said. “We are going to be putting them through some fire/rescue training, and it gives you a little hint of the job performance and demands.”

The reports from the departments were approved by the council following a motion from Councilman Bo Green and a second from Councilman Boone Bowling.

“A couple of years ago, the council adopted hours for our city parks that they would be closed from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. and no one should be in the parks after 11 p.m.,” Green said. “It was mentioned to me that it would be very helpful if we had signage in the parks posting the hours, and that would help maybe enforcing that and address those hours to help the police do their jobs.”

According to Chief Busic, charges have been created and citations are being written

“In the last few weeks, we had a problem and started seeing people congregating at night, and they actually made some charges,” Busic said agreeing that there needs to be signage placed at the parks.

Middlesboro City Council went into executive session closing out the regular monthly meeting. The next date for the council work session will be Sept. 10 and the next regular council meeting will be Sept. 17.