Whitesburg KY

Jenkins secures more help to pay for road emergencies

The City of Jenkins has secured another source of funding for road emergencies.

At a special meeting of the Jenkins City Council, Mayor Todd Depriest told the council the Municipal Road Cooperative Agreement it was entering into with the state would provide funding for emergencies, such as the slip that closed the road at Dairy Hollow. City Attorney Randall Tackett read the resolution to adopt the plan and the council voted unanimously to approve.

Depriest said that Jenkins has participated in the Road Aid Contract with the Department of Rural and Municipal Aid of the Commonwealth of Kentucky Transportation Cabinet in the past and still receives funding from the Cabinet for city roads. However, problems created by heavy rains in Dairy Hollow showed the importance of an alternative source of funding. The cities of Fleming-Neon and Whitesburg both participate with the state in a Municipal Road Aid Agreement as well as Letcher County Fiscal Court. The agreement applies to roads and streets listed in city plans as city roads and streets.

In other business, the council agreed to enter into a loan agreement with Community Trust Bank to pay the cost of annual liability insurance in full rather than to accept financing from the insurance company. Depriest told the council this has been done for several years because the city not only receives a better interest rate from the bank, it also keeps the business in a Letcher County bank.

The council also voted unanimously to extend a loan fund that had been established for the completion of a sidewalk from the Jenkins football field to Jenkins Middle High School. The loan was originally established to show matching funds for the project under a different funding arrangement. However, Depriest recently informed the council that the city will be compensated 100 percent for the work to finish the sidewalk. The account will be used to pay for the work and the city will be reimbursed as the payments are made and receipts are sent in.

After the meeting adjourned, Depriest said he wanted to discuss plans for future improvements to the city, although it hadn’t been on the agenda so no action could be taken. He said the city is actively seeking funding to replace the remaining old water lines that run to neighborhoods with very few homes or are located on steep hillsides. Almost all the city’s water lines have been replaced since the Jenkins Waterline Replacement Project went into effect, but the cost-to-benefit ratio for these areas made it difficult to fund. He also said he is looking for funds to address problems with storm drains and culverts.

Recent heavy rains showed problems with collapsed culverts in several areas of the city. Depriest said many of the culverts were installed more than 20 years ago and have either collapsed or become filled with debris. Water cannot pass through them and it causes runoff into streets. He said culverts large enough to handle the flow are expensive, and added that many of them are under paved roads and are buried deeply. He said the number of culverts that need to be replaced will require outside funding and he is looking for sources.

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