Fleming-Neon Mayor Susan Polis announced that water service was restored to Fleming-Neon water customers in Seco and was almost ready to be restored in Goose Creek earlier this week.
As the Fleming-Neon City Council meeting was closing Monday night, Mayor Polis said she had just been informed that water service was returned to customers in the Seco area and water workers were pressure testing lines in Goose Creek in preparation of resuming water service there.
Polis said she understands how difficult it is for people to be without water, but added that water workers have been joined by city workers and all are working long hours and doing everything they possibly can to restore service to everyone.
In other water-related matters, the council voted unanimously to approve a resolution informing the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority that it intends to proceed with plans to upgrade and rehabilitate the city water plant rather than seek a permanent water supply from either the City of Jenkins or the Letcher County Water and Sewer District.
Paul Nesbitt of Nesbitt Engineering, whose company is working with the city on the water plant rehabilitation, told the council that at a recent meeting, KIA had asked the city to look at both options and see if it might be financially better off purchasing water rather than rehabilitating the existing plant. However, while Jenkins and the Letcher County Water and Sewer District will both be able to supply the Fleming- Neon District in emergencies, when final connections have been made between the three systems, neither actually has the capacity to serve the Fleming-Neon District permanently at this time.
Nesbitt told the council that even if the Letcher County Water and Sewer District was able to serve its needs, it is contractually obligated to purchase water from the Knott County Water District, and the price may vary due to the need to pump the water, and Knott County has other obligations as well. He said that over a 20-year period, the city would save money and be better served if it upgrades its system and continues to own its own water plant.
The council was unanimous in its praise of city and water department workers during the weatherrelated emergency. Polis said that all the workers had “worked their tails off ” for the last three weeks and the city has done all it can to restore service.
“We’re sorry that people have been without water,” said Polis. “But it’s not that we’re not trying to fix it.”
Polis also thanked Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward and Judge Pro-Tem Eddie Meade for their help in making county equipment available to the city. “We couldn’t ask for better help than we have received from Jim Ward and Eddie Meade.”
Council member Linda Cantrell added that city crews have been working in single digit temperatures while they were also getting wet to repair water lines, and said that the city has made bottled water available to its customers, although not too many have taken advantage of it. Councilman James D; Collins said the city had notified the public that water would be available through every media outlet.
“There is more good here than bad,” said Councilman Jeff Breeding. “You just hear about the bad.”
In other business, Fleming-Neon Police Officer Adam Swindall told the council that he has issued a press release concerning the recent robbery at the Marathon Station at Neon Junction. Swindall said that although the question of who robbed the station was solved within 24 hours, information had been held in house in hopes that the robber, Jeremy Ritchie, could be located. Swindall said an indoor marijuana growing operation was raided in the city last week.
In response to a question concerning the annual PRIDE Clean- Up by Councilman Collins, the council decided to look at the possibilities of limiting the citywide pick up of large items to one week. Polis said that the PRIDE organization no longer funds the operation and cities are responsible for the costs. Several council members said the clean-up benefits the city by keeping it cleaner and it should not be totally discontinued.