City of London to cut property taxes and one of the best places to retire in KY

It was a double dose of good news for London residents this week. First of all, property taxes will decrease again thanks to growth in the city. Secondly, London was chosen as one of the best places to retire in Kentucky in a national study.

At its regular monthly meeting on Monday night, London City Council voted unanimously to lower the tax rates on motor vehicle/motorcraft, real property and personal property from last year’s rate of .087 to .086.

It is the 15th consecutive year that city residents will see no increase in their taxes.

Don McFadden, with the Laurel County Property Valuation Administration (PVA) told council members that real property value had increased within the city, and that new construction was up considerably.

“Last year’s real estate was valued at $633 million. This year it is $659 million, with $13 million net in new construction,” he explained. “With that, you can lower the rates.”

Mayor Troy Rudder said the lowered tax rate would still keep the city’s revenues within the 4% range, with council members voting to accept the .086 rate. That means city residents will pay .086 cents for $100 value on real, personal and motor vehicles for the upcoming year.

“That’s not a lot, but it’s something. We’ve lowered or kept tax rates the same for the last 15 years,” the mayor said.

Council members then approved the first reading of the ordinance establishing those rates. The ordinance requires city residents to pay their taxes by Dec. 1, 2021. Those who pay before that time will receive a 2% discount. Those paying after Dec. 1 will add a 6% penalty to their totals.

According to an annual study by SmartAsset, London is the second-best place in Kentucky to retire, London ranked second on the list with a 16.5 percent tax burden, 7.7 doctor offices per 1,000 people, and 0.7 recreation centers per 1,000 people. About 17.6 percent of the population is made up of seniors, according to the seventh annual study of the best places to retire in the United States by SmartAsset.As part of the analysis, SmartAsset compared localities across four criteria, including tax burden, access to medical care, and opportunity for recreation and social activity.SmartAsset offers the web’s best personal finance advice, data visualizations and tools for free. It empowers people with the information needed to make life’s biggest financial decisions with confidence, the company says about itself on its website.

Pikeville was first on the list of the best places to retire in Kentucky, based on the analysis by SmartAsset.

Mayor Honored for Leading Kentucky League of Cities

It wasn’t the traditional banquet to honor the outgoing president, but a surprise luncheon Wednesday was the best alternative for the Kentucky League of Cities and London officials to recognize Mayor Troy Rudder for his year-long work leading the statewide group. 

The mayor was surprised when he learned that another routine luncheon at the London Community Center was actually to honor his work for the KLC, which represents 380 cities in Kentucky.

He volunteered to work on the group’s insurance committee about 15 years ago, then took on increasing responsibility and was elected president of the KLC for 2020-21. 

“It’s been a whirlwind ride the last year,” Rudder said during his impromptu speech at the luncheon. 

“Covid kind of cheated me a little as president. How many Zoom meetings did I attend last year? Felt like hundreds. But we still got a lot accomplished and had a productive legislative session.” 

Covid also canceled the KLC’s banquet in which the outgoing president is honored and the gavel is passed to the next president. Instead, the group prepared a video thanking Mayor Rudder and listed a number of his accomplishments in the last year. 

“You’ve been a guiding star for this organization during a very challenging time for all of us,” KLC Executive Director J.D. Chaney said in the video.

“You always say to leave it better than you found it. That’s the hallmark of public service. Not only have you done that for the City of London over the past 40 years as councilman and mayor, but you also did that for KLC. Your track record speaks for itself.” 

Mayor Rudder said he was proud to lead the group of influential city officials from across the state. 

“All those people put their trust in me,” he said.

“It blew me away when they acknowledged I had what it takes to lead that amazing organization.”  

London Kentucky is now part of US Bike Route 21

The Kentucky Transportation Cabinet is funding the placement of roadside signage on Kentucky’s new U.S. Bicycle Route 21 (USBR) begun in July and is expected to continue through the fall spanning through 10 counties and 15 communities. Ultimately USBR 21, a national bike route, will begin in Cleveland, OH and end in Atlanta, GA.

USBR 21, also known as the Daniel Boone Bike Route, begins at the Cumberland Gap and extends 265 miles to the south side of the Ohio River in Maysville, Kentucky. Passing through the historic Cumberland Gap and foothills of the Appalachian Mountains, it crosses through 10 counties: Bell, Knox, Laurel, Rockcastle, Madison, Clark, Bourbon, Nicholas, Robertson and Mason. The route follows much of the “original Boone Trace”, the historic trail established by Daniel Boone in 1775 marking the first road to land west of the Appalachian Mountains.

KYTC provided the Madison County fiscal court with $85,000 to fund the signage project.

“Kentucky is now ranked as one of the top five states with the most miles on the U.S. Bicycle Route System,” said KYTC Secretary Jim Gray.

“By partnering with community members, the Cabinet has earned designation for U.S. Bike Routes 21 and 23, creating new north-south connections with its neighboring states. When we grow the U.S. Bicycle Route System, we’re giving residents and tourists alike greater access to alternate modes of transportation. As a recreational cyclist, these new markings are truly signs of progress and there’s still the opportunity to do more to elevate our bike and pedestrian network.”

The U.S. Bicycle Route System develops partnerships between transportation agencies, bicycle and trail organizations, and volunteers. The Adventure Cycling Association partnered with the Friends of Boone Trace, Inc. to design and implement USBR 21.

“The historic Boone Trace began the ‘westward movement’ of our country,” said John M. Fox, MD, President, Friends of Boone Trace, Inc.

“This directional signage will guide bicycling tourists safely through scenic byways while passing many historical points of interest along the way. Bicycle routes also attract visitors to explore Kentucky’s towns and engage in other outdoor adventures in the Appalachian region that contribute to the local economy.”

With the official designation of two new U.S. Bicycle Routes, Kentucky now has a total of 1,000 miles of connected bicycle-friendly roads. USBR 23 connects the Cave Region of Kentucky from USBR 76 to the Tennessee border. The 109-mile route travels through the small towns and historic sites of southwestern Kentucky and connects to Mammoth Cave National Park.

Both new routes connect to U.S. Bicycle Route 76, “The TransAmerica Bike Route,” which was originally designated in 1982 and has been updated several times since, providing cyclists with multiple connected 500-mile or greater route options across the state of Kentucky from rural Crittenden County at the Ohio River to Elkhorn City in mountainous Pike County. All routes were designed to take advantage of low-traffic roads, allowing for a scenic and comfortable cross-state ride.

The U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS) is a developing national network of officially recognized, numbered, and signed bicycle routes. All U.S. Bicycle Routes are certified by the American Association of State Highway and Transportation Officials (AASHTO). These new routes bring the total mileage of the USBRS to 14,000.

The trail route was developed over the course of four years by the 501c-3 organization Friends of Boone Trace, Inc., in partnership with Berea College’s Program of Entrepreneurs. Students researched the route and evaluated it for both safety and unique features. The approved route is designed for bicycle touring showcasing low-volume country roads, diverse terrain, picturesque vistas, and significant historic sites, including Cumberland Gap National Historic Park, Pine Mountain Resort Park, Levi Jackson Park, Fort Boonesborough, and Blue Licks Battlefield State Park.

Free digital maps for all designated U.S. Bicycle Routes — including USBR 21, 23, and 76 in Kentucky — are available here through a partnership with Ride with GPS.

For additional information, contact: John Fox, M.D. President, Friends of Boone Trace, Inc. (859) 533-6433.

COVID Testing Sites

From the Laurel County Health Department:

Have you tested positive for COVID-19 or been a close contact of someone who has tested positive?

If you receive a positive COVID-19 test result, please isolate yourself immediately. Do not wait on a call from the health department to isolate. It may be 24-48 hours after you receive your positive test result before you are contacted by our office. It is also important to make sure the testing location you had your test performed at has your correct phone number. Isolation Information for COVID-19 Positive Cases:…/Case-One-Pager-11-16…

If you have been exposed to someone with COVID-19:

Due to the increase in cases in our county, you may not be contacted by our office if you are a close contact of someone who has tested positive for COVID-19. We are asking the positive case to contact anyone they have had close contact with during their incubation period to let them know they need to quarantine. *There are certain instances in which we are still calling close contacts, but in many instances, we will not be calling them.

*If you are FULLY VACCINATED and have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case:…/QuarantineofVaccinatedPersonsGuid…

If you are NOT FULLY VACCINATED and have been in contact with a positive COVID-19 case:…/New-CDC-Quarantine…

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