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Jenkins mayor leans toward a ‘drive-in’ Halloween safe night

Halloween Safe Night in Jenkins may have a different look this year in order to limit contact and comply with guidelines for COVID-19.

Instead of the usual event at the city park near Elkhorn Lake with sites for merchants, elected officials and others to hand out treats, this year will likely feature a drive-in format.

At Jenkins City Council’s September meeting, Mayor Todd Depriest said that he thought the best way to keep children safe would be to set up tables along city streets and to have a “safe night” parade. Children could still dress in costumes and pick up candy and other treats as they are driven through town. Participants can also decorate their vehicles, Depriest said.

The council will hold its October meeting before Halloween and Depriest said he would further explore the matter before making a final decision. He said the event would be announced at that meeting, which is set for October 5.

Depriest also used the meeting to urge Jenkins residents who have not done so already to complete and return the U.S. Census form.

The outcome of the Census, which is conducted every 10 years, determines state and district representation in Congress and the allocation of federal funding. Depriest said that at present Jenkins only has a 50 percent completion rate.

In other business, the council voted to approve a resolution to apply for reimbursement from the Department of Local Government for sanitation and cleaning expenses related to COVID-19. Depriest said that if the funds are reimbursed, they would go to the Jenkins Volunteer Fire Department for money spent on cleaning and sanitizing equipment after making calls.

Depriest also announced that the Kentucky Department of Transportation will soon be working on the curve in the northbound lane at the intersection of U.S. 23 and U.S. 119 in an effort to make it safer. There have been a number of accidents there, and Depriest said he has spoken with engineers at the Transportation Cabinet’s District 12 offices in Pikeville a several times about the issue.

In a related matter, Depriest said the city has an alternate route in place in Dairy Hollow if the road there should collapse. He said that ongoing problems with that road appear to be mine-related and that the state’s Division of Abandoned Mine Lands would probably pay to repair it.

Depriest also went over guidelines for early voting for the November 3 election with the council, and said that voting areas will be safe and will adhere to COVID 19 guidelines on November 3.

Instructions for early voting and casting absentee ballots will appear in The Mountain Eagle, and will continue to do so until the election.

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