The Jenkins City Council once again found itself without the number of council members needed to conduct a meeting, this time at special meeting called for May 8.
Last Thursday’s meeting had been called in place of the regular May 5 meeting that also had to be canceled for lack of a quorum. Mayor G.C. Kincer did open the floor for discussion but since the meeting could not be officially convened, no actual business was conducted.
District Five Magistrate Wayne Fleming, who represents Jenkins on the Letcher County Fiscal Court, attended to express his thanks to the council for its participation in a memorial ceremony to honor Korean War casualty James Curtis Mullins.
Mullins enlisted at the age of 17 and was killed in 1950 after only spending a month in Korea. His body was not recovered for 62 years and is presently interred in a North Carolina veterans’ cemetery, near the homes of his remaining family members. He was the son of the late Corbett Mullins, who lived in Dunham and was employed by Beth-Elkhorn Corp. The council voted unanimously at its December 2013 meeting to rename Straight Row in Dunham in honor of Mullins.
The council also heard from Don Amburgey, director of the Little Shepherd Amphitheater, who expressed his thanks for the city’s willingness to help the struggling theater operation. He also praised Fleming for his ongoing support of the amphitheater as a member of the fiscal court.
The council voted at its April meeting to assume operation of the Little Shepherd Amphitheater and to retire an outstanding debt of more than $13,000. At that meeting council members were enthusiastic about using the theater for other purposes such as car shows, recreational vehicle parking, bluegrass shows and other events while maintaining the Little Shepherd of Kingdom play during its regular presentation dates.
Kincer told those council members in attendance that one of the main reasons it has become so difficult to seat a quorum lately is the traditional meeting date of the first Monday of the month. Kincer said that several holidays conflict with the date and added that it is not a good date for City Hall employees. Kincer told the council he will suggest changing the meeting date to the first Thursday of the month. He also indicated that he will not attempt to hold another meeting in May.
Police Chief Jim Stephens expressed his department’s deep sadness concerning the accidental death of eight-year-old Trent Carty, a student at Burdine Elementary School who died from injuries he received in a bicycle wreck. Stephens said it had been a very difficult time for entire city and expressed his sympathy for the Carty family. He said the death was purely accidental.
Stephens also reported that the Jenkins Police Department responded to 93 complaints and wrote 11 citations during the last month. He said officers made eight arrests and issued 12 warnings. Two of the arrests were for DUI and three were for drug-related offenses. Three warrants were served, and the department responded to six domestic complaints, one injury accident, and two non-injury accidents.
The city treated 15,534,000 gallons of water in April and sold 5,763,000, including 1,727,000 gallons that were sold to the Letcher County Water and Sewer District through the Payne Gap Water Project. The potential water loss stood at 9,771,000 gallons. Of that amount, 5,147,800 gallons were accounted for including 1,944,000 gallons lost through line breaks. The total unaccounted water loss was 4,623,200, or 30 percent of the total amount of treated water.
Those attending the meeting also learned that the opening date for the Jenkins Swimming Pool and its new restaurant is still expected to be May 17.
The restaurant’s dining room and kitchen area are compete, and Kincer said that the permit requests for the Las Peñas restaurant have been moved to the front of the line in Frankfort thanks to some help from friends of the city who are in the state legislature.