HANSON, Ky. (2/26/20) — Hanson Mayor Jimmy Epley said the city has solved its water leaks that previously resulted in the loss of several thousand gallons over the past couple of months.

“Thanks to the (media), people called in to tell us where the leaks were,” he said. “We are well within the amount of water usage the state wants us to be.”

Hanson City Commission voted during its monthly meeting held Tuesday night at City Hall to bill the local Economic Development Corp. for repairing the leaky sewer system that was installed in the Hanson Industrial Park 20 years ago. Epley explained the city does not own the line that water had been pouring into over the past 25 years, adding it needs additional repair.

Property developers Melvin Hicklin and Allen Davis requested the city draft a letter to Hopkins County Joint Planning Commission to recommend zero-lot-line zoning for future housing development to make more efficient use of land that could provide affordable housing. 

Hicklin explained a typical lot could be 75-150 feet wide and 110-115 feet deep. The developers showed photos of developments being constructed in Hopkinsville, that have been prevalent in Owensboro and Evansville, Indiana over the past couple of decades. The houses could have two or three bedrooms, two bathrooms and one or two-car garages.

“The buyers that find these particularly attractive are the entry-level home buyers,” he said. “At the other end of the spectrum, you have people who are downsizing. It’s not a lot of yard to take care of, it’s a new house, affordable, and these can be built in the $150,000-160,000 range. The market in Hopkins County doesn’t have a great deal of new builds going on, where you can buy a house in that price range — a new home. Most of the houses being sold were built in the 1980s or 90s, either being remodeled or not being remodeled. It will fill a need for the home-buying public.”

Commissioner LuAnn Haywood spoke in favor of drafting a letter to initiate the zoning ordinance to spur growth, while the mayor preferred speaking to Ted Adkins at Joint Planning to obtain more information.

Epley explained the city has incurred $10-$15,000 in additional expense after amending zoning for lots in the city, which has resulted in running more water and sewer lines, in addition to parking issues.

“You won’t be able to walk around your house without walking on your neighbor,” Epley said. “ … I’d like to check it out first to see what kind of problems have arose ….”

Hanson Fire Chief Jesse Breedlove said he also would like to look at some of the zero-lot-line properties in the region and research the notion further. Commissioner Brandon Marsh said he would not be in favor living in a that type of development, though he would like to explore the option for future city development.

Hicklin said the way to achieve the groundwork for the proposed ordinance is to address the planning commission, first.

Davis said housing with side-yard lots have windows only on the yarded side that features utilities on one side or behind the homes to save space. They have been popular in nearby cities for those who do not prefer extensive yard maintenance, and still have the benefit of landscaping/patio space in lieu of apartment building living.

The commission opted to table drafting a letter to Joint Planning pertaining to zero-lot-line zoning, with plans to discuss the issue during the March meeting.

In other business, the commission approved a $300 donation to the Joseph “Eddie” Ballard Western Kentucky Veterans Center for activities. City officials adopted a resolution to receive $15,373 in Municipal Aid Road Funds from the state for the next fiscal year beginning July 1.

Epley also mentioned newspapers tossed into yards each Wednesday is causing a littering issue in town.

“People don’t pick the darn things up, and my (workers) are going around picking them up,” Epley said.

One resident attending the meeting said she gets tired of picking up the papers each week, because she already receives the newspaper in her mailbox.

City Clerk Casey Pearson said residents could contact the paper carriers to request they not toss them into their driveways, adding, “We’ve had several complaints.”

The commission also approved the hiring of a contractor to link water/sewer lines off Timmons Lane, Livingston and Church streets, with the city furnishing all materials.

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