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City moving ahead with its plan to annex upper part of Solomon

Council hears update on Boone hotel project

Mayor James W. Craft this week told the Whitesburg City Council he intends to have the city attorney draft an ordinance to begin the annexation process on the upper Solomon Road community.

Speaking at the council’s November meeting Tuesday night, Craft said the residents of Solomon have been interviewed and it is now time to get started with an ordinance. Several council members asked about the possibility of a pledge from residents of the Golf Course community to support annexation there if the city undertakes a project to extend sewer lines to their community.

Councilman John Pellegrini said that if the residents are going to accept city services, they should consider paying city taxes and receiving the full package of police and fire protection. He added that it would lower insurance rates as well.

In other business, contractors working on Phase I on the project to restore the Daniel Boone Hotel have made a great deal of progress and now have structure up as far as the third floor. Project architect Bill Richardson of Whitesburg said the contractors have installed steel beams up to the third floor and praised their skill and hard work. Richardson said rooms have been framed toward the back of the building and that he believes Phase I will be finished on time, by February 14.

In response to a question from Councilman Mike Jackson about local workers and sub-contractors, Richardson said that three of the seven workers on the project are local and that a local contractor is working as a subcontractor on the project as well. Mayor James Wiley Craft said he would like to schedule a walk-through and asked if the contractors could provide hard hats for the council. Craft said he would prefer to schedule the walk-through for a time when contractors aren’t actually working so council members won’t get in the way.

In other business, the council voted unanimously to choose Nesbitt Engineering of Lexington and Hazard as project engineers for the Highway 931 (Cowan) water line extension project. The project will extend lines to households on side roads that were bypassed due to lack of funding in the original construction.

Paul Nesbitt told the council that loans from the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority will probably not be available until sometime next spring. Nesbitt suggested the city look at a monthly payment in order to get the work started to replace water lines on the Whitesburg by-pass, and said that the KIA loan is pretty much a sure thing. He said the city will be reimbursed for money spent to replace the lines on the bypass, which are considered the number one priority for replacement.

Mayor Craft told Nesbitt that the city will be making the first installment on the radio read water meters of over $21,000 in December. He said when the payment is made, he will have the city clerk look at the city’s finances to see when it can afford to start making payments on water lines.

Valerie Horn, who is the director of the Levitt Amp Concert Series the city has hosted for the last two years, visited the meeting and thanked the council members for their support. Horn urged everyone to go online and cast a vote to help Whitesburg be selected as a Levitt Amp city for another year. In order to register to vote, go to grant. levittamp.org/events-page/ and sign up to vote. Whitesburg is currently ranked at 13, and needs to get into the top 10.

Craft also officially designated Assistant City Clerk Donna Perkins to be his proxy at meetings of the Kentucky River Area Development District when he is unable to attend. He said that under new guidelines for KRADD a council vote is required and the council voted unanimously to confirm Perkins as Craft’s proxy.

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