The Whitesburg City Council said goodbye to two highly valued city employees at its June meeting Tuesday.
Steve Taylor was a plant operator at the city water plant for 24 years before his recent death and Mayor James Wiley Craft said Wade Dean Adams had worked for the city for a very “long time” before retiring for health reasons. Craft presented Adams, and Taylor’s widow, Ann Taylor, with certifi cates of appreciation and commemorative certificates from the Kentucky State Senate obtained through the offices of 29th District Senator Johnny Ray Turner, who represents Letcher County.
Craft said that Taylor and Adams were among the best employees the city has ever had and will be badly missed.
In other business, Craft conducted the first reading of the city’s Fiscal Year 2014- 15 Budget, which features General Fund expenditures of $ 1,910,500 and Water and Sewer expenditures of $1,332,070, against General Fund revenues of $1,749,830 and Water and Sewer revenues of $1,330,926. Craft also set the date for a special meeting during which the second reading of the budget will be held. That gathering will take place June 17 at 6:30 p.m. at City Hall.
Craft also told the council there will be at least one change in the budget before the second reading. He said a mistake in the first draft listed the mayor’s insurance costs at $22,000 when in reality the total cost is $6,755. City Clerk Garnett Sexton said the changes will be made before the next meeting.
The proposed budget is available for public viewing in City Hall during regular business hours.
The council also heard the first reading of Ordinance 2014-04, which repeals the “city sticker ordinance.” Craft also conducted the second reading of Ordinance 2014-02, which creates the position of dispatcher for the police and fire departments.
Craft said that at present, when the fire department is on a call there is no one left on the premises to serve as dispatcher. He said he believes it is important to have someone at City Hall from the close of business until 8 a.m. the following day to direct first responders. The council passed the second reading unanimously.
Water Maintenance Director Chris Caudill reported that the endangered water line running across the Kentucky River at Ermine is still holding together, but warned that if it breaks there will be little he can do. He told the council he will get fresh quotes for a line bore to run the line under the river. Craft said he believes funds will be available for the work very soon.
Caudill also said water workers have begun to replace some old lines at the water plant and have made some minor repairs on sewer lift stations, but have had no major problems.
Craft also read a request from Letcher County Central Tennis Coach Rick Raleigh asking for use of the city tennis courts for a tennis tournament in July. The council approved the request unanimously.
The mayor also praised Whitesburg residents Leanna Mullins and Terry Fowler for their work in planting flowers in city planters and flower pots. He said the flowers look wonderful and has made the city even more beautiful.
In other business, the council voted to accept Pigman Street on Solomon Branch into the city road system. Craft said gravel from the street tends to wash down onto Darca Branch during heavy rains and contributed to high levels of dust and mud, and if the city took over maintenance of the street, they could pave it to eliminate the problem.
As Tuesday’s meeting closed, Caudill, the water maintenance director, reminded the council that Friday, June 13 will be Mayor Craft’s birthday, after which all present sang “ Happy Birthday” to him. Caudill did not specify the mayor’s age.