By LISA BICKNELL
CV&T News Editor
When the Irvine City Council met on Monday night, Christine Clevenger, widow of deceased firefighter Zach Clevenger, approached the council to ask for consideration of her proposal for painting the Irvine bridge to symbolize the “thin red line” of protection provided by firefighters for the public.
The City of Irvine has been asking the Kentucky Department of Transportation to paint the bridge, but the city has not yet heard when the bridge might be painted.
Mrs. Clevenger, accompanied by her young son Zach, said she has already spoken with the department about painting the bridge and was directed by them to speak to the Irvine City Council. She presented images to the council showing the bridge painted black with a red hand rail, but the state would ultimately make the decision about the color of the bridge.
Clevenger said that she wouldn’t want anything “too distracting” or showy, as she knows her husband wouldn’t want that either.
Councilman Ernest Farmer suggested writing a letter of support for Clevenger’s proposal to the state, leaving the color selection up to them.
Councilman Tim Burkhart expressed some reservations about black and red because they are the colors of some neighboring rival schools’ sports teams.
Councilman Bill Arthur, who was a few minutes late for the meeting, said he is all about doing things in remembrance, but he didn’t really know enough about it to vote for it.
After some discussion, the council voted to write a letter of support to the state. Mayor James Gross emphasized that the state would be the one making the decision about the colors of the bridge.
Phillip Waite attended the council meeting to learn more about the building inspector position.
He asked for a clearer job description and said that he needs to know what the expectations of the job would be if he were to be hired.
“I need to know what it is I’d be enforcing,” said Waite. He also said he would not expect the city to pay again for any tests he might be required to take if he doesn’t pass the tests the first time.
City Attorney Rodney Davis suggested the mayor form a committee to work out the requirements of the building inspection position.
For the past several years, the city has not had a building inspector, and regulations have been loose.
Mayor Gross reported that the garbage packer truck is in the shop at Bluegrass International, and mechanics there have said that the truck’s problems are not as “catastrophic” as first reported. City workers have been continuing to haul several trailer loads of garbage a day to the landfill, as they continue to unload dumpsters as far as they can reach by hand.
Gross said the landfill has agreed to get and empty all dumpsters for the city on a couple of occasions.
In addition, the Irvine City Council gave approval to purchase a new cruiser for the Irvine Police Department from alcohol and beverage tax revenue. The car will be ordered from Freedom Dodge, a dealership with a state contract, at a price of about $25,600, which Police Chief Brad Smith says is about $1,200 to $1,400 cheaper than the last car they bought. The department recently had an older car go down, and Smith said it needs to be surplussed as soon as possible. The new car will arrive no earlier than April.
The next meeting of the Irvine City Council is Monday, February 11 at 7 p.m.