VANCEBURG – Mayor Matt Ginn said parts of Gov. Matt Bevin’s pension proposal “aren't even ethical” at Monday’s city council meeting.
Ginn said that he has been to several meetings with the Kentucky League of Cities and said the organization is still against the bill.
“It (the bill) is about 500 pages long,” Ginn said. “I’ve made it through about 400 of them and I’ve found several things I don’t even think are ethical.”
Ginn said he didn’t see the bill even passing.
“With the representatives I’ve talked to, it seems this bill was created by the governor and his administration with no input from the representatives or anyone else.”
According to Ginn, there is a clause in the bill that basically says that a pension is no longer guaranteed.
“Not just on the city side, but our teachers. They don’t pay into Social Security,” Ginn said. “If something bad happens and that promise is taken away, you’re going to have teachers with nothing to fall back on.”
Ginn said that under the new bill, the city of Vanceburg will have to pay around $700,000 back to the state government. Ginn said that Bevin sent what Ginn described as an ultimatum to KLC, saying that KLC could either work with the governor and implement a pay-back plan by 2019 or pay it back immediately.
“I don’t think that’s much governing. That’s not looking toward the people, it’s just him trying to force his agenda on us,” Ginn said.
Ginn said he didn’t expect a special session to even be called on the bill, let alone for it to pass.
According to Ginn, the bill has been described as “the worst retirement plan any employer or anyone has ever offered.”
Council also discussed the beginning of two major projects that have been in the works for a while.
The first is a $250,000 demolition of the old shoe factory in Vanceburg. The building sits on Rowley Street and about 75 percent of the roof has caved in. The project is being funded through a $200,000 EPA grant and $50,000 from the Cleaner Commonwealth Fund.
According to Ginn, 10 days after a pre-construction team looks at the site, tear down will begin.
The second project is a new sidewalk along Fairlane Drive between old Kentucky 10 and new Kentucky 10. The $173,000 project will be paid through a Safe Schools grant and will turn a crumbling sidewalk into a safe place for students and community members walking to and from school.
According to Ginn, Straight Edge Construction said it will begin construction of the sidewalk one week after Thanksgiving. Ginn said that if there is any blacktopping that will need to be done, the project should be finished in Spring of 2018.
“These are two major projects being kicked off,” Ginn said.
Council also announced the city’s approval for a Homeland Security grant for $12,600 for fire department gear. According to Ginn, this will purchase about half of what the department needs to replace outdated equipment.
“The equipment’s not bad,” Ginn said. “But it is outdated.”
Councilwoman Joni Pugh mentioned a meeting with the Braidy Industries CEO regarding their new facility being constructed in Greenup County. The meeting will be Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 6 p.m. at the Carter House in Vanceburg.
The council also announced a Dec. 9 date for the annual Christmas Parade. The parade will begin at 6 p.m.