WARREN TAYLOR | Citizen Staff
Changes could be coming to the ordinances that regulate parking and commercial activities in downtown Paris.
City Attorney Bryan Beauman told the City Commission on Monday that in May he and Commissioner Holli Gibson met with Lauren Biddle of the Paris-Bourbon County Chamber of Commerce to “talk about some comprehensive issues with Main Street.”
Beauman said the discussion centered around four issues “that are not new”: parking, sales of items on the sidewalk, sales of items on the street, and itinerant businesses.
The primary issue, he said, that many of the regulations are out-of-date: “A lot of these ordinances that address this are really old. So it is a great opportunity to update them and revise them … Some of them need to be scrapped and rewritten.”
The ordinances did not anticipate a development of the COVID-19 pandemic, the rise of food delivery services.
“We are starting to get more and more vehicles downtown, especially for food delivery services, that require a pick-up option,” said Biddle.”So those are going to be a lot of unoccupied vehicles that are going to be needing spaces.”
Beauman suggested that the city could issues placards that business owners could give to a delivery driver to place in their vehicle while it is parked or it could that certain spots every block are only for delivery vehicles.
Finding a solution for selling on the street or sidewalk for businesses such as a food truck or flower cart will be trickier.
“Particularly in the downtown area the merchant may want someone on the sidewalk in front of them; likewise the merchant may not want someone just plopping down,” Beauman said.
The consensus during the meeting was that owners of a mobile business would need to obtain permission from a downtown merchant to park in front of their store and that they could only occupy a space for a limited time.
City Manager Daron Jordan said one solution may be to turn downtown into an entertainment district. He said the state legislature passed a law a few years ago that allowed Kentucky cities to create such districts. Paris would only need to apply for a license and pay an annual fee of $2,500 if it were approved.
Fiscal Year 22’ Budget: The Commission voted to approve an ordinance approving the City’s budget after hearing the second reading of it. The City estimates it will begin the new fiscal year with $5.6 million and projects to add $8.6 million in revenue. It also projects to spend $8.6 million for various municipal operations.
New City Hires: The Paris Police and Street departments will welcome new employees. The Commission voted to approve the hiring of Christopher Canter and Desirae Walker as police cadets. It also approved James Fryman’s hire as a Medium-Sized Equipment Operator.
Street Sweeper Bid: The Commission voted to accept a financing bid from Kentucky Bank to fund the purchase of a 2020 Elgin Whirlwind Street Sweeper for $298,980 over a four-year period. The bid was chosen over one from Traditional Bank that had a slightly higher interest rate.