Progress is being made on the possibility of a obtaining a call center that could bring 50 to 120 possible jobs to the City of Jenkins.
Mayor Todd Depriest told the Jenkins City Council that in a recent visit to Frankfort, he learned the possibility of a Florida call center expanding into the old Gauley Sales building in Jenkins is ongoing and that an announcement could come in September.
Meanwhile, Depriest said much of the city’s time is being taken up with repairing some of the damage done by the extreme weather of recent months.
City workers are putting down cold patch to fill potholes that were created or made worse by the cold weather, and Depriest said that as soon as blacktop plants go into production, the city will begin making permanent repairs to roads that were badly damaged by the cold and the road salt that was used to remove ice. City water workers are working to repair leaks in water lines caused by the cold and are also identifying old lines so they can be decommissioned.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to change its meeting day back to the first Monday of every month. Council member Rebecca Amburgey suggested the move, saying that having the meeting on the first Thursday wasn’t working out well and that after having it on the first Monday for so long, it was hard for everyone to get used to the change. Other members agreed and the council voted unanimously to approve Amburgey’s motion to change the meeting date and time back to the first Monday of every month at 7 p.m.
Paul Nesbitt of Nesbitt Engineering, who works with the city on water and sewer matters, told the council that the Payne Gap Water Project is winding down and that it will probably close out within 30 days. He also said that the Burdine Water Project, to extend new lines to Burdine, should be complete within 60 to 90 days and that the Dunham Water Project will go to bid at the end of the month. Nesbitt said he expects to bring a recommendation on the low bidder to the next council meeting. The Dunham Project will extend new lines to all of Dunham as well as laying new lines in Marshall’s Branch, where some of the older lines run as much as 15 to 20 feet deep due to being covered over so many times.
City Administrator Benny McCall reported that he is continuing to work on disability insurance for city workers. However, his efforts have been stalled because the representative he is working with recently underwent surgery. Mc- Call added that he has put together a report to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) on the expenses the city incurred during the weather emergencies this winter and the amount is about $50,000. He said he believes the city should get a decent amount of that reimbursed. FEMA representatives recently conducted a tour of the city and county.
The council went into executive session near the end of the meeting to discuss litigation with former City Clerk Sherry Kincer about allegations concerning her pay. When they emerged, Rebecca Amburgey moved that the council give Depriest the authority to manage the litigation and the council approved unanimously.
In other city business:
• In response to a question from Rebecca Amburgey, Depriest said that the city is still collecting recyclables in blue bags, and added that the city needs to make efforts to promote recycling.
• Depriest also said that the citywide PRIDE Cleanup is scheduled for May 9. He said that Pride Coordinator Mason Yonts has some funding left over from last year’s clean-up but the PRIDE organization has no funding for cleanup projects this year. The city will seek other funding.
• Rebecca Amburgey suggested that the city concentrate on getting garbage and other things out of the creeks. Depriest said recent high water has made the problem worse.
• Depriest recognized Fire Chief Rick Corbett for being named as a company inspector and Fireman Larry Rose, who was also named company inspector and received his certification as a certified firefighter with 400 hours of training. A company inspector is certified to conduct fire and safety inspections.
• The city produced 17,865,000 gallons of treated water on February and sold 5,142,000 gallons for a difference of 12,723,000. Of that, 9,089,000 gallons were unaccounted for a 51 percent unaccounted loss. Losses from line breaks accounted for 1,980,000 gallons.
• The city produced 18,173,000 gallons of treated water in March and sold 6,582.000 gallons for a difference of 11,591,000. Of that 4,982,000 were unaccounted, for a 27 percent unaccounted loss. The losses resulting from line breaks stood at 4,680,000 gallons.
• Chief of Police Jim Stephens reported the the Jenkins Police Department responded to 80 complaints, made seven arrests and issued 12 verbal warnings for traffic offenses. He also reported that the Kentucky Department of Highways will be conducting a speed survey in coming weeks to see if speeding in the Main Street area requires a lowered speed limit near the God’s Love in a Diaper Bag ministry.