Whitesburg KY

Fleming-Neon taking steps to tear down Hazen building

The City of Fleming- Neon has begun the process of tearing down the old Hazen store building that was donated to the city several years ago.

Mayor Susie Polis told the Fleming-Neon City Council at its June meeting that she has furnished information to City Attorney James Wiley Craft II that is needed to put together a bid for demolition of the old building. The Hazen family deeded the building to the city, but because of a bad roof and other problems, it is not considered worth repairing, as the estimated repair costs exceed the building’s value.

The council also conducted the first reading of its Fiscal Year 2010-11 budget and scheduled a special meeting for June 21 at 6:30 p.m. to conduct the second reading and vote on its passage. The budget calls for expenditures of $238,516.64 against revenues of $198,952.23 plus a surplus from the previous budget of $40,000, for a total of $238,952.23.

The budget includes salary increases for council members and the mayor as well as increases in health insurance costs for city employees. The city will receive $123,000 from the state’s Local Government Economic Assistance fund as part of anticipated revenues and $37,400 for road work.

In other business, Ken Taylor of Kenvirons, a Lexington engineering firm working with the city on sewer and water issues, reported that about 21 percent of the Haymond Sewer Project is now complete and that two homes have been hooked up and are using the system. Taylor said 314 homes have signed up for sewer service and that so far, very few complaints have been received concerning the construction.

Carlos Phillips of the city water department told the council that the water and sewer plants are both operating well and that water levels at both city wells are very good. He said water losses are up a couple of points but added that flow meters ordered by the city are in and will be used to locate leaks in water lines as soon as workers have time.

In response to a question from Mayor Susie Polis, Phillips said emergency generators needed to keep the water plant operating in the event of a power failure have been ordered and will be in by the end of the week.

Police Chief Mike Dingus told the council that Officer Tim Miller had made several drug arrests and sent evidence to the Kentucky State Police Laboratory in Frankfort last week. Dingus said patrol rifles ordered for police cruisers are in and added he is still updating the police policy manual.

Mayor Polis asked about a grant for cameras for police cruisers, but Dingus said the city isn’t eligible under its current insurance policy. Polis told Dingus to go ahead and order the two cameras, which cost $1,895 each, saying they are much needed. The cameras record activity around the cruisers and document arrests and other police interaction with the public.

Council member Cheryl Furby said the problems with dogs in Fleming are ongoing and that the County Animal Control Officer has begun to capture strays. Furby said if people don’t obey leash laws, they will start losing their animals and added that one small white dog is particularly vicious.

Council member James D. Collins added that weeds in two lots where the city had dilapidated houses torn down need attention and Mayor Polis said the problem would be taken care of. Collins also asked that part of the city’s $3,000 allotment from Letcher County Parks and Recreation be used to buy new children’s swings for the city park.

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