Whitesburg KY
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Jenkins needs cash, but doesn’t hike taxes

Taxes for the City of Jenkins will stay at $.3499 per $100 (34.99 cents per $100) for real property and for watercraft and motor vehicles for the coming year.

At a special meeting of the Jenkins City Council, Mayor Todd Depriest said that although the city needs additional revenue he would not recommend raising taxes at this time. The council voted unanimously in support of Depriest and rates will stay the same. However, Depriest also told the council it will need to look at raising sanitation rates.

Depriest said that tipping fees for dumping at landfills are going up and maintenance costs and other equipment costs will only go up as the sanitation trucks get older. He said solid waste costs in general are getting higher, and he doesn’t want to get caught without a backup truck. Depriest said he has looked at different solutions for dealing with solid waste, like a process that turns waste material to natural gas, but at this time the technology isn’t proven.

Councilman Garnett Bentley asked if there was a possibility of increasing the collection of delinquent accounts, but Depriest said the people who actually live in the city usually pay their bills. He said most delinquent notices that aren’t paid come back marked “return to sender,” because the account holder no longer lives in Jenkins. He added that the occupational tax that was instituted in 2012 makes it possible for the city to continue to pay for many of the services it provides.

Councilman Bentley also asked about the unusually large unaccounted water loss of 31 percent for August. Depriest said it was due to two leaks that city workers have since repaired in old water lines that have not been replaced. He said that the remainder of the old lines will be replaced when the recently filed grant for replacing the remaining city lines in areas that were not served by the waterline replacement is secured. He said a lot of cities in the region are just now being forced to address problems with antiquated systems, while Jenkins has replaced most of its lines and has rehabilitated the water plant.

Depriest said the pump in the creek below the dam is now pumping water back into Elkhorn Lake to make sure the water level stays where it needs to be. He said an Abandoned Mine Land grant paid for new pumps in the creek and at a mine where the city can draw water as well, and there shouldn’t be any problems with supply.

Depriest announced that Jenkins has been chosen as the City of the Year by the Kentucky River Area District, and he also congratulated Mayor James Wiley Craft and the City of Whitesburg, which was chosen as one of the 25 most beautiful Alpine cities in America by Reader’s Digest.

Council Member Ernestine Hill praised the Jenkins Police Department and the Jenkins Volunteer Fire Department for their service to the city. Depriest added that Officer Hunter Holbrook, who recently finished his training at the Kentucky Police Academy, recently administered a NARCAN injection to an overdose victim that saved the man’s life. Depriest praised all the city workers, vendors, and other participants for their efforts in the Jenkins Homecoming Festival.

The Jenkins Police Department responded to 97 calls of service in August and issued nine citations and ten warnings. Jenkins officers made eight arrests, served three warrants, and two summonses. Two of the arrests were drug related and six were from domestic violence. Officers answered three collisions with injury, five without injury and made four motorist assists.

The City of Jenkins produced

14,765,000 gallons of treated water in August and sold 6,453,000. Residential sales accounted for 5,022,000 gallons and commercial sales accounted for 1,431,000 gallons This left a difference of 8,312,000, or a 56 potential total loss. Of that amount, 1,125,000 gallons were lost in line breaks, 1,500,000 were used by the city wastewater treatment plant, and 440,000 were used by the water treatment plant. The JVFD used 25,000 gallons, and hydrant flushing accounted for 85,000. A total of 44,000 gallons were written off in computer adjustment, with 550,000 listed as “other” in the lost column. The total accounted for loss was 3,769,000 and 4,543,000 were unaccounted for, or an unaccounted loss of 31 percent.

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