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City looks for new street light contract

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Speed limits could change on some Owenton streets

By Molly Haines

The Owenton City Council is preparing to take bids on a contract that expired three years ago.

The contract, which provides every street light in the city of Owenton, was first signed in 1986 with Kentucky Utilities. 

Owenton Mayor David “Milkweed” Wotier said the contract was signed before he became mayor.

Wotier said he was unaware the contract had expired and had not been contacted by KU until now.

“Because I wasn’t mayor when the contract was signed I didn’t know when it expired and no one had contacted me about it expiring,” Wotier said.

Wotier said the contract will be bid out, but because the street lights are the property of KU, it is likely KU will be awarded with another 20-year contract.

“I’m guessing it will be finalized in the next two months,” Wotier said. “During that time we will be taking bids, but if anyone else were to get the contract, they would have to lease the street lights from KU because they belong to them.”

Wotier said the council will have its first reading on the contract during the September meeting.

The council may also be reducing the speed limit on several residential streets throughout Owenton, including Sunset Drive and Kelly Court.

Wotier said he and Owenton Police Chief Terry Gentry will work together to see which streets’ speed limits should be lowered. The current speed limit on Sunset Drive and Kelley Court is 35. Wotier said the new limit would be 25 at the highest.

“We’ve received a reasonable amount of complaints on the issue,” Wotier said. “Something needs to be done about it because speed causes accidents and can be deadly. By doing this now we may be able to prevent something like that happening.”

The council voted to place a handicapped parking spot on West Perry Street for those visiting the library.

Wotier said he was contacted by Library Director Jennifer Nippert about the concern.

“Jennifer Nippert called me and requested a handicapped parking spot on West Perry Street,” Wotier said. “The parking lot on the left side of the library is too far of a walk for those who are handicapped and they would have to go up the stairs in the front of the building.”

Wotier said the parking space for handicapped drivers will be placed on West Perry Street at the first parking spot by the stop sign, which is close to the library’s side door.

“I think this will send a message to those who are physically impaired,” Wotier said. “We want them to know that we care and we want to help them.”