The Whitesburg City Council voted unanimously to reject the lone bid that was submitted for the old Salyers building and to allow Mayor James Wiley Craft to negotiate a suitable price.
Craft announced the single bid for the old structure, which came from Whitesburg businessman Joel Beverly, for $3,001, which he labeled as Bid No. 1. Councilman James Bates made a motion to reject the bid, and the vote was unanimous. Following the vote, Bates made a second motion to the effect that the council allow Mayor Craft to negotiate on the property.
Craft added a stipulation to the motion that the negotiations would specify that the exterior structure of the building, which he said is on the Historic Register, remain unchanged. The vote was also unanimous to allow Craft to negotiate. Craft said the council would have to approve whatever price he works out with the buyer.
In other business, the council voted to engage Nesbitt Engineering to draft a design for refurbishing the city’s water plant. Paul Nesbitt told the council that the design would be an important tool in securing funding for the project. Nesbitt also asked the council to allow his company to put a project profile together to submit to Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) that will serve as an indication of interest for possibly securing funding from KIA for the project. The council voted unanimously to approve both.
Nesbitt said it will probably take about six months to finish the design work for refurbishing the plant and Mayor Craft said he has discussed the project with Nesbitt and Water Maintenance Director Chris Caudill. Craft said that he has asked Nesbitt to invoice the city every month with a report of its time for the design work and said that the invoice will be presented to the council every month.
Caudill told the council that the water plant will need a complete makeover and Nesbitt added that the “through-put” (water output) of the plant could be increased by 25 percent by installing new filters. Caudill said the mixers at the plant would need to be replaced as well and added that he has compiled a list of projects that will need to be completed to revamp the plant. He also assured the council that the plant is still making good water, but said the plant’s needs will have to be addressed.
Caudill also told the council that water workers have repaired several leaks, and that while working on one, they came across an old wooden sewer line. He said they have targeted a manhole under a bridge to be rebuilt and that the city has a number of brick manholes that will have to be replaced or refurbished. He also said a motor had “blown up” at the city wastewater plant.
Craft told the council that the city had purchased blacktop from Mountain Enterprises for resurfacing several city streets and repairing others. He said that Maryland Avenue and Indiana Avenue had been among the streets that were repaired and added that the city’s streets should be in good shape until next year.
Craft also asked the council for permission to continue with the city’s tradition of purchasing $25 gift certificates to give to city employees and volunteer firemen to enable them to purchase either a turkey or ham for Thanksgiving. The council approved his request unanimously.