Ash borers endangering historic trees

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Some likely will have to be removed

By Lisa King

The Shelbyville City Council heard during its meeting Thursday a report that the Emerald Ash Borer again is active in Shelby Council.

Fred Rogers, newly appointed to head up the Shelbyville Historic District Commission, told the council that in meeting with people and getting acclimated with some of the issues of the county he has heard concerns about the future of some ash trees that have been in the county for quite a while being threatened by insects.

“The ash borer is causing problems for some of these trees,” he said, adding that some of them probably would have to come down. He said he would keep the council advised.

Rogers said later that many ash trees in the downtown areas of Shelbyville are infested with these insects, causing the trees to be very unhealthy, which is a particular problem for those located near power lines.

He said he had been told by officials of Kentucky Utilities that some needed to come down, but in the historic district, residents have to undergo a lengthy process to get permission to remove a tree because its removal could diminish the “historical spectrum.”

“We just need a policy that says if anyone is having issues with infected trees within the historic district, they don’t have to go through all the red tape to get it taken care of,” Rogers said.


Tourism ordinance passed

The council passed on second reading of an ordinance to establish a joint tourism commission at its meeting Thursday night. The ordinance, which passed by unanimous vote, will be the same as it was previously, except for the addition of Simpsonville, said Katie Fussenegger, director of Shelbyville/Shelby County Tourism & Visitors Bureau, who attended the meeting.

“You can tell Simpsonville they’ve now been brought into the fold,” Mayor Tom Hardesty told Fussenegger.

The Shelby County Fiscal Court and the Simpsonville City Commission are considering the ordinance as well.


Honors for teachers, Chatham

Hardesty proclaimed last week as Retired Teacher’s Week in Shelby County. Marie Wright, president of the Retired Teacher’s Association, told Hardesty, “When we teachers retire, we don’t just sit around, we volunteer.”

Hardesty also recognized pianist Betty Jean Chatham by declaring her ambassador to the City of Shelbyville. Chatham is retiring after a decades-long musical career.

“We appreciate everything you’ve done for our community and for raising such a wonderful family,” he told her.


Also at the meeting, the council:

§       Heard from Hardesty that he had sent a letter to the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet District 5 Office requesting the speed limit be reduced from 45 mph to 35 mph on Smithfield Road from the railroad tracks north to Freedom’s Way.

§       Heard from council member Shane Suttor that he had been asked why the council’s meetings are no longer were televised. Hardesty said that in the past, a high school media class had taken it upon themselves to videotape the meetings for broadcast but that they were no longer doing that. “If there is any group out there interested in doing that again, we would welcome them to contact us,” he said.

§       Announced that it would prefer trick or treating to be held 5 to 7 p.m. on Oct. 31.