Some Jenkins residents may be offered natural gas service as early as next spring, Mayor G.C. Kincer said this week.
In his monthly report to the Jenkins City Council, Kincer announced that the city will soon become a distributor for natural gas, and that liquid nitrogen producer Ferus CA will be the city’s first customer. Kincer expects other occupants of the Gateway Industrial Park to follow the lead of Ferus and sign up for gas service as well.
Kincer said the groundwork for the City of Jenkins to become a distributor of natural gas was put in place by former Mayor Robert E. “Pud” Shubert as part of a contract the city negotiated with natural gas producer EQT, then known as Equitable Resources, when EQT wanted to locate and pipeline and pumping station near the Gateway Park. EQT is the largest natural gas producer in central and southern Appalachia.
Kincer said he expects the city to soon be able to offer natural gas service to anybody else in Jenkins who wants it.
“We’re going to go ahead and put it throughout the entire city,” Kincer told The Mountain Eagle. “We want to by laying gas lines by spring. That’s our goal.”
Kincer said engineering work remains to be done and that the city still has to work to do with the Kentucky Public Service Commission before the project can get underway.
In a related matter, Kincer told the Jenkins City Council at its October meeting on Monday night that he and Jenkins City Manager Todd DePriest are exploring the possibility of the city working with a private company to install windmills on top of Pine Mountain to supplement electricity production in the area. The energy that is produced would be sold back to the electric company and be applied to power bills in Jenkins. Kincer said that is such a plan were successful it could lower the electricity cost for citizens of Jenkins.
Tensions ran high through much of Monday night’s meeting as one council member again accused the city of improprieties in dealing with water customers.
Councilman Terry Braddock used the normally routine discussion of the city’s monthly financial report to question the total amount charged to city water customers and accused the city of overbilling. Braddock has addressed the subject frequently since his election to the council, and although the billing and the structure of the city’s accounting procedures have been explained to him several times, he remains unsatisfied.
“How much are the water bills?” asked Braddock. “I have to know because the people are really concerned about the high prices.”
“Do you want me to explain it to you?” asked City Financial Officer Robin Kincer.
“No, I don’t want you to explain it,” said Braddock.
Kincer then told Braddock the report he had been given as part of his council packet had the necessary information. “ You have it right in front of you.”
“I don’t have a report I can read,” replied Braddock.
Kincer told Braddock the report clearly showed the income of the city’s water and sewer departments separately. Braddock then complained that he hadn’t received the report in time to examine it properly.
“I need you to give it to me the report two or three days ahead of the meeting,” said Braddock.
Mayor Kincer, who is not related to Robin Kincer, told Braddock the city’s offices are open five days a week and recommended that Braddock come to City Hall to look at all the reports before the meetings.
“ Don’t submit something that’s absolutely not true,” cautioned Mayor Kincer. “I won’t accept that.”
Kincer told Braddock that his accusations had already been made “a long time ago,” to which Braddock replied, “I’m still working on it. I’m going to have satisfaction on this before I get out of here.”
The discussion between Braddock and others continued for some time before business resumed.