Whitesburg KY
Mostly cloudy
Mostly cloudy

End ‘P.P.M.’ now

To the Editor:

I went to Whitesburg to pay my taxes last week and everywhere I looked were signs of P.P.M. (poor planning and management).

First, I asked Danny Webb why I saw so many third-time felons on the street. He said the state was releasing them because of overcrowding. P.P.M. I told him he should shoot at least every third one he arrested to help alleviate the problem, like Marshal Dillon and Wyatt Earp did. He agreed, but stated that courts frown on that sort of thing now.

Next was the traffic jam where the bypass terminates in the busiest part of town. (More P.P.M.) I don’t see any feasible way that bypass could be continued through town. (More P.P.M.) I went to the county water department and asked when they planned to start spending that $7 million on water and sewer for Millstone. They said five to seven years, but only to the town and probably never to the outlying areas where most of the people live. (More P.P.M.)

Later I asked Mayor Craft why all the handicapped parking places were occupied by cars without plates or placards. He assured me that they had been writing tickets ($25), but later when I saw an elderly lady hobbling across the parking lot on a walker, I asked a young police officer to write a few tickets, but he refused. Maybe that’s why I see so many people shopping in Virginia where I shop. (More P.P.M.) In Virginia, they’ll tow your car and fine you up to $500.

I noticed that my taxes there are one-third what they are in Kentucky, and proportionately less in Charleston, S.C. They have a five-minute response to 9-1-1 calls there, and Virginia has basic services like water, sewer and garbage disposal units everywhere along the main road. Our garbage transfer station (our only one) is deep up a narrow road where trucks can’t even pass and where it is so muddy and stinky, no one wants to go there. (More P.P.M.)

A few years ago, Norton, Va., had a water shortage and they immediately put in transfer line and raised Big Cherry Lake about 40 feet, alleviating the problem promptly. Putting in water lines just isn’t that hard. I worked for Jack Looney a few years ago putting in water mains. It took us about a month to put in about 1-1/2 mile at Whitesburg. They chose the worst possible route, over cliffs and through house-sized boulders. (More P.P.M.) The railroad bed is the shortest route.

We put lines in Winchester, Springfield, and Lebanon. Everyone else used old deserted railroad beds. They’re usually the shortest route, very level, easy digging, easily obtainable, and usually the old trestles can be used instead of complicated river crossings.

We sometimes put in a mile a day with only a six-man crew. There are old railroad beds all over this county. Maybe I could talk Jack into coming out of retirement a few days and putting me in a line from Millstone to Thornton.

They said they weren’t going to do anything till they ran a pipeline from Knott County. (More P.P.M.) Why let the river flow 20 miles downstream then pipe it back? Fishpond Lake could be raised enough to store adequate water for the county. The nearby creek could be pumped up to it, or even better, pump both forks up from Kona in the same feeder line. A dam at Pine Mountain Junction, south along U.S. 119, would store lots of water. It’s very near the river and almost no one lives in that hollow. Left Fork of Millstone has a large watershed and only about two dozen homes are there.

Other examples of P.P.M. are the new bridge at Millstone, and the road across Pine Mountain. Why all the curves when a straight shot is cheaper and easier? (More P.P.M.)

The road over Pound Gap was a farce from the beginning. They destroyed a beautiful mountain, built the most dangerous intersection anywhere, and wasted millions of dollars. We see trucks and trailers turned over there frequently and a car exiting left cannot see an oncoming car for the concrete barrier there. Wouldn’t it have been better to let the downhill traffic exit through the tunnel, then let the uphill traffic (from Kona) stop. They would have a clear view both ways. Better still, why not take the straightest route (through the existing tunnel) and cut off two or three miles. You wouldn’t need to constantly salt the road in winter, either. (More P.P.M.)

I know people a lot smarter than me make a lot of money to come up with these harebrained ideas, but I believe P.P.M. is epidemic in Letcher County.

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