The Paintsville City Council took several routine actions at its regular meeting Monday, but the meeting ended with discussion about the city’s appearance.

The council opened after the meeting’s regular business with conversation about utility lights, and decorative city-operated lights on Main Street, that are out and in need of replacement.

Council member Tim Hall said that with a collection of pole numbers, the city could submit a request to get the utility lights fixed. 

“Along with light, when you’ve got better lighting, we have a lot of things that need to be cleaned up,” council member Sara Blair

said. “We have some pretty shabby looking places that we need to pay attention to.”

“Are you talking about properties, cars parked on the street and all that?” Mayor Bill Mike Runyon asked.

“That’s what I was going to bring up,” Council member Sarah Kimbler said. “Abandoned vehicles. There’s so many all over Paintsville that have been there forever, and properties that are run down. We can’t make any progress going forward and working together if people are going to continue letting their places run down.”

Kimbler invoked the words of Judge-Executive Mark McKenzie, from the previous week’s town hall meeting, about the need for cooperation between city and county and the need to tout the local affordable housing market.

The council discussed amending the ordinance about abandoned properties, and the possibility of adding stiffer penalties and enforcing the ordinance more strictly.

“These properties have got to be cleaned up,” Mayor Bill Mike Runyon said. “This whole town. These abandoned vehicles have got to be off the street. … We need to get this city cleaned up. I don’t care what we have to do. I’ve been sitting in this office two and a half years, and I’ve promised people that, and it’s still not been done. I want to get it done. We are going to clean this city up.”

The council also:

• Heard the first reading of a continuity of government ordinance naming the highest vote-getting city council member, Sara Blair, to serve as acting executive in the event of an extreme emergency and the unavailability of Mayor Runyon

• Approved the second reading of an ordinance to amend the budget, making available additional money to the Johnson County Animal Shelter

• Awarded a $50,070 bid to E-Z GO, a local golf cart supplier, for new carts for the Paintsville Golf Course. The supplier came in under the other bid by Motive Power for $51,630, while also offering warranties and available additional carts for large events at the golf course

• Voted to declare as surplus four city-owned vehicles

• Voted to deed to Paintsville Independent Schools a small tract of land adjacent to the park and playground that the schools have used as parking for events there

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