The ongoing abuse of Dumpsters and recycling bins in Fleming Neon has resulted in a change in sanitation policy. Fleming- Neon residents who recycle cardboard will have to do it on regular recycling days and have it picked up with their other recycling rather than taking it to the recycling bin. Sanitation Foreman Jake Johnson told the council the Letcher County Recycling Center has issued a statement to the effect that sanitation workers will only take cardboard that is already disassembled and will no longer “break down” boxes when picking up recyclables.
Mayor Susie Polis told the council that city workers won’t have time to break the boxes down and added that ongoing misuse of the recycling bin makes it diffi cult to use it anyway. Polis said a number of things that were not supposed to be in the cardboard bin, including household garbage and a deer carcass, have been left there and recommended the city cease to use it entirely. Johnson said what little actual cardboard goes into the cardboard bin usually isn’t fit for recycling by the time it gets picked up anyway.
Council member Cheryl Furby said she has noticed several incidences of people dumping in the Dumpsters around Fleming-Neon Elementary School as well, and added that most of the people who are doing it already have city sanitation service, which will pick up items other than bagged garbage if asked. Councilman Trey Quillen moved to have the cardboard bin removed after commenting “what a shame” on the misuse of city facilities and the council voted unanimously in favor of his motion.
The council also set the Spring PRIDE Clean-Up for April 14 with an alternative rain date of April 28. Mayor Polis said the city needs volunteers badly, especially young volunteers. Johnson told the council the Sanitation Department will schedule pick-ups for large items such as furniture throughout the month, and added that dates for large item pick-up are April 3, 13, 17, 20, 24, and 27. Johnson said sanitation workers will pick up anything recyclable as well as furniture, and mattresses. He asked that items be put where they are easily accessible, usually in the same place people leave their garbage, and that loose items be bagged.
In other business, Mayor Polis announced the retirement of longtime Water Department Supervisor Carlos Phillips. Phillips served the city in the supervisor’s position for eight years and has been replaced by Chris Banks of McRoberts. Banks said he and Wayne “Sarge” Sergeant are working to reduce water leaks and he believes the problem lies with a bad meter. He added that he has ordered supplies to repair several fire hydrants and said residents will be notified of the repairs and disruption of service.
The council also heard a request from Alfred Fields Jr. of the Fleming-Neon Little League. Fields told the council he had learned that some money had been allocated for city parks and wanted to find out the council’s plans. He added that the Little League is willing to work with the city to benefit the city’s youth.
Councilman James D. Collins told Fields that money for a memorial park in Fleming from the late Tim Hall is for that purpose only. Collins is a member of the Letcher County Parks and Recreation Commission. Councilman Tom Haynes asked if the Little League would be willing to put playground equipment or a walking track around the Danny Kincer Park in Fleming, but Fields said the amount of water running off Haymond Hill would make it difficult to do anything until it is diverted or dealt with in another manner. He said the water comes directly onto the ball field now and said. in light of the water, the Little League could probably bring the fence in 25 feet since it can’t use the back part anyway.
Trey Quillen said that he does not favor taking any space away from any children or the Little League, and Mayor Polis said the money allocated is for a park and playground equipment anyway.
Police Chief Mike Dingus reported the new Chevy Tahoe the city purchased through a U.S.D.A. Rural Development grant has finally arrived and a minor problem with equipment has been resolved. Dingus also said the department has been working with the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department on a drug investigation. He added that overall activity has increased as the weather has changed and said that includes motor vehicle accidents. The department worked three accidents in February.
Mayor Polis told the council the Letcher County Library Board has requested that John Emerson Street be closed temporarily during construction of the new city library. The council voted unanimously to comply with the request with the caveat that the street will still be one way when it is reopened. Polis said she believes the library bids will be opened Thursday and expects construction to begin soon.
Mayor Polis also told the council the city has to do something with water running into the street in front of the old Gulf Station on Main Street. She said the water freezes in cold weather and creates a serious hazard for traffic.