The City of Whitesburg has a new chief of police, several months removed. In response to a question from The Mountain Eagle
at the Whitesburg City Council’s December meeting, Mayor James Wiley Craft confirmed that Henry Day has served as chief of police for Whitesburg for several months.
Craft said that a formal announcement had not been made, but Day, a former Whitesburg officer who also served as chief of police in Fleming-Neon for several years, was appointed to head the Whitesburg Police Department. Day replaced former Chief Phil Slone, who resigned to accept a position with the Letcher County “Rangers,” the county police force that patrols parks and other county property.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to pass Resolu tion 2009-2 to enter into an assistance program with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority for the purpose of obtaining a loan for improvements to the city water system. They also voted unanimously to pass resolution 2009-3 to allow the mayor to enter into an agreement with the Kentucky Department of Local Government for an Energy Efficiency Conservation Block Grant as part of a county project that will ultimately allow the city to purchase a new tanker fire truck. Craft said the funding has already been approved.
In the monthly report from Veolia Water, Manager Todd Adams reminded the council that December is the first month under the new contract between Veolia and the city. He showed graphs to the council which he said contained no overages in cost and said the contract was set up for that purpose. Adams also said there have been pump problems in a lift station control panel at Tunnel Hill, but they have been repaired.
Adams told the council he had met with representatives of Summitt Engineering and Smith Contractors to inspect the new Whitesburg Wastewater Plant. He said the purpose of the meeting was to document any issues that may need to be dealt with before the plant’s warranty expires in January.
Mayor Craft told Adams he has received calls from concerned citizens about the possibility of a hillside slipping on Tunnel Hill as the result of digging operations conducted by Veolia. Craft told Adams that an overhang with trees on the edge of a cliff will have to be removed, and said a pipeline to increase water pressure for Solomon Road residents will have to be relocated due to the slip. Adams said Veolia workers will cut the trees.
“Veolia dug a hill in solid rock and caused the mountain to slip,” said Craft. “Now we will have to go back through the easement process again.”
Kevin Howard of Summitt Engineering told the council he had flagged necessary items for attention in the warranty meeting and has activated the carbon feed system being constructed at the water plant. He said the cost came in at an amount under what was estimated and the KIA has allowed the city to commit the rest of the funding to construct a security fence for the wastewater plant with a secu re entry. The council approved the change order unanimously.
In the Mayor’s Report, Craft told the council the Dawahare family has agreed to donate the Daniel Boone Hotel building to the city. He said the city will have to pay for the building’s appraisal and $1,200 to Keith Howard, who served as caretaker of the building. Craft said he hopes to have the deed finalized by the end of the year and is looking to get it under construction as soon as possible. He said the building will be a beautiful addition to the city and added that the building has marble windowsills which had been painted over years ago.
In other council business:
• The council also voted unanimously to purchase a ham for Christmas for all city employees. Craft said the hams will be purchased and given to employees rather than giving a voucher to local grocery stores. He added that the expense will be borne by the city’s Alcoholic Beverage Control account, as were the vouchers for Thanksgiving. Craft told the council the city has an excellent group of employees who are extremely dedicated and do hard and often thankless work.
• Craft announced the city’s Christmas Parade and Christmas in the Park, which were held December 11.
• The council voted unanimously to authorize the purchase of a 2009 Jeep Liberty with 30,000 miles for $20,995. The four-wheel drive vehicle will be used by the Whitesburg Police Department and will fill the need for an additional police vehicle as well as for a bad-weather vehicle. The council also authorized Mayor Craft to finalize the loan arrangements for the purchase.