City working to spur new business, mayor says

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By Molly Haines

In his state of the city address Sept. 13, Owenton Mayor Doug West said the one thing the city desperately needs is more businesses.
West gave his yearly address to members of the Owen County Chamber of Commerce during its monthly meeting.
Since taking office in 2011, West said he and the Owenton City Council have worked hard to give new businesses an opportunity to make it in a tough economy.
Earlier this year, the council approved for forgiving property taxes for new businesses in their first three years of operation.
During his address, West said he wrote letters to all of the taxing districts in hopes that they would follow the city’s lead in forgiving the property taxes.
West said the council will continue to work on annexing roads, which could bring some pre-existing businesses into the city.
West also spoke on the council’s efforts to enforce nuisance laws.
West said that in 2011, 47 notices were given and 40 have been given in 2012.
“We’ve served about 80 notices on our nuisance laws,” West said. “It’s important that we work with everyone to try and keep the city clean.”
West said houses that weren’t up to code, including a house on East Perry Street, on Adair Street and three on Ransdall Street have been demolished and sinkholes on Gayle Avenue, Botts Street, Robin Drive, Thomas Street and Horizon Circle have been fixed before those streets were blacktopped.
New sidewalks have been put into place on North Adams Street, around the courthouse, a section in front of Owenton First Baptist Church, as well as others.
West said although much has been accomplished over the year, it would not have been without the council’s approval.
“The council is the backbone of it all,” West said. “All I can do is recommend something, they have to approve it.”
West said he enjoys the work that he and the council are doing and hopes to see more businesses come into the city soon.     
“I enjoy being mayor,” West said. “I enjoy what I do. This is a good community, everyone helps everyone out and hopefully we can all work together to try and get more businesses in the city.”