The Whitesburg City Council received welcome news about funding at a special meeting held December 13.
Mayor James Wiley Craft gave council members copies of a letter from Nesbitt Engineering announcing a $1.3 million grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission, for the city’s Water Line Replacement Project.
Nesbitt Engineering works with the city on infrastructure projects and funding issues. This means the project can now be fully funded without a loan from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA), which would have required annual repayments of about $48,000.
The city had applied for a loan of $947,000 from KIA, but the letter said the loan is on hold until the city’s audit for 2018-2019 is complete. The project should be placed on the KIA Grant Agenda in February or March as soon as the audit is complete. Nesbitt Engineering also reported that future planning for fundable projects is underway and suggested considering three projects, including water line extensions in Cowan, the Mayking Sewer Line, and the project to rehabilitate city sewer pump stations. These should be presented to KIA during the current funding cycle.
The Nesbitt letter also reported that a map and a legal description of the Solomon Annexation Ordinance is complete and was sent to the city clerk last week. Nesbitt continues to work on obtaining funding for the Daniel Boone Restoration Project.
Several members of the city council visited the Daniel Boone Hotel last week to inspect progress that has been made on the restoration of the hotel. Mayor Craft reported that the interior is much improved, with the debris from the collapse of the floors removed, and that council members were impressed with the work that has been completed. A complete report on the visit appeared in last week’s edition of The Mountain Eagle.
In a related matter, Craft announced that the city has engaged Jenkins native Rodney Welch, a certified public accountant, to conduct the 2018-2019 audit. Craft said the audit will be filed by December 31, and the change in auditors was due to time constraints. Welch has offices in Georgetown and in Nicholasville. Welch also handles the audit for the City of Jenkins and several other cities in the area.
Councilman John Pellegrini complained that disposable sanitary wipes and feminine sanitary products are causing problems with the city’s sewer system. Pellegrini said that in his opinion these two items cause many of the city’s problems with sewer lines and pumps. However, the issue was not on the agenda and no action could be taken on Pellegrini’s complaint. Councilman Mike Jackson said he was not convinced and would like to see some data before taking any action.