Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette The Leitchfield City Council on Monday discussed extending William Thomason Byway to Highway 54.

Matt Lasley | GC News-Gazette

The Leitchfield City Council on Monday discussed extending William Thomason Byway to Highway 54.

The Leitchfield City Council on Monday took action to seek federal funding for the project to extend William Thomason Byway to KY 54.

The proposed $20 million to $23 million project would extend the southern terminus of the William Thomason Byway (the bypass) from KY 259 southwest to KY 54 about 2 miles, and, to help fund the project, the City Council was presented with a resolution to allow Leitchfield Mayor William Thomason to sign and submit an application for federal grant funding through the Better Utilizing Investments to Leverage Development (BUILD) Transportation Discretionary Grants program.

State Sen. Steve Meredith, R-Leitchfield, who has long been a proponent of the bypass extension, said the BUILD funding is an exciting prospect because the local project falls directly in line with the type of projects for which those funds are intended (rural economic development).

Per the mayor's recommendation, the City Council voted to permit Thomason to sign and submit a BUILD grant application.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, projects for BUILD will be evaluated based on criteria that include safety, economic competitiveness, quality of life, environmental protection, state of good repair, innovation, partnership, and additional non-federal revenue for future transportation infrastructure investments.

The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2018 made available $1.5 billion for National Infrastructure Investments, otherwise known as BUILD Transportation Discretionary grants, through Sept. 30, 2020, according to an April news release from the U.S. Department of Transportation.

For this round of BUILD Transportation grants, the maximum grant award is $25 million, and no more than $150 million can be awarded to a single state. Additionally, at least 30 percent of funds must be awarded to projects located in rural areas, the release states.

The deadline to submit an application for the Fiscal Year 2018 BUILD Transportation Discretionary Grants program is July 19.

In other business:

*Thomason read his budget message for the 2018-2019 fiscal year, in which he said this year's proposed budget includes funding for a school resource officer at Grayson County Middle School, new equipment and repairs at the Leitchfield Fire Department, a new garbage truck for the Solid Waste Department, improvements to the softball park, and a new walking trail in the James D. Beville Community Park.

The creation of a GCMS school resource officer position is made possible with funds from the alcohol tax, as well as the assistance of the Grayson County School Board, Thomason said.

Following the mayor's budget message, the first readings of the Fiscal Year 2017-18 amended budget ordinance and Fiscal Year 2018-19 proposed budget ordinance were held and approved.

The second and final readings are scheduled to be held during a special meeting of the Leitchfield City Council 5 p.m. Monday.

*Leitchfield Public Works Director Sheila Puckett announced that the city will begin conducting mosquito fogging on July 18. Fogging will be conducted weekly on Wednesday evenings between the hours of 6 p.m. and 9 p.m.

If rain is forecast on a Wednesday, the fogging will be done on Tuesday evening. Residents are encouraged to empty any containers of water on their property to minimize the mosquito breeding areas.

Anyone with questions or concers may contact Public Works at 270-259-6363, and more information about mosquito control can be found at https://www.cdc.gov/features/stopmosquitoes/.

*The City Council voted to reappoint Ryan Bratcher and Jessica Embry and appoint Robin Elmore to the Leitchfield Tourism Commission. Elmore will fill the seat of Jose Soto, who will be stepping down from the position.

*The second and final reading of the ordinance establishing a Leitchfield Tourism Commission, which was recently amended to allow Tourism Commissioners to receive a monthly stipend ($200 for the chairperson and $100 for the other commissioners), was held and approved.

*The City Council authorized Thomason to sign a lease agreement with Wilson & Muir Bank & Trust Co. to renew the lease on the Leitchfield Municipal Parking Lot.

The new lease will be for five years at a cost of $1 for the entire time; however, the city will pay to blacktop the parking lot at a cost of $12,000.

*City Councilmember Harold Miller, who is employed by Warren Rural Electric Cooperative Corp., said the state rural electric cooperative corporation is asking all cooperatives to designate issues in their communities that they can work to improve.

WRECC has designated two cemeteries in Leitchfield (one across from Leitchfield City Hall and the other off of South Claggett Drive) that are in need of repair.

Miller said WRECC crews will spend one to two days working to restore the cemeteries in the coming weeks. The work must be completed by July 29.

*The City Council approved a 5.5 percent health insurance increase for city employees, as well as offering dental/vision for city employees at the employees' expense.