City taxes will remain the same as in previous years and citizens of Fleming-Neon will see improvements in city infrastructure that should be in place by Neon Days, including a new concrete bridge to the city park from the stage area and new permanent restrooms in a block building near the stage area. The bridge will be built with county equipment and labor and the restrooms will save the Neon Days Committee at least $1,000 a year for the two-day festival.
Letcher County Judge/Executive Judge Jim Ward visited the meeting along with Third District Magistrate Codell Gibson and Judge Pro-Tem Eddie Meade and told the council he and Fleming- Neon Mayor Susie Polis have worked out a compromise so that the Letcher County Fiscal Court will provide county equipment and workers and the city will pay for the materials to replace the old wooden bridge to the walking track and Kiddy Park, which Polis said is in bad shape. Ward said the new bridge will be all concrete and sit on steel H-beams with chain-link fencing along both sides for safety. Polis said the entire project will cost the city less than $2,500.
“Anytime we have the money and can help, we will,” said Ward.
Ward said the county workers will try to remove the old bridge with as little damage as possible so it can be re-use. He said the county will go ahead and get the materials at its prices and will do its best to have it in place by Neon Days. He said the bridge will not be wide enough for vehicles, but in response to a question from James D. Collins, said it may be necessary to place a pipe in the concrete at the entrance to the bridge to make sure ATV’s can’t get on it.
Jeff Potter of the Neon Days Committee also approached the council about building permanent restrooms for Neon Days and other city events. Potter told the council the Neon Days Committee will spend more than $1,000 this year to rent two Porta-Potties for the two days of the festival and suggested the city take the example of Jenkins and build permanent restrooms with steel doors that can be locked when the building is not in use. Councilman James D. Collins agreed with Potter and suggested steel toilets and sinks also be purchased to make it more difficult for vandals to damage the restrooms.
Cheryl Furby, who took over in the mayor’s seat after Mayor Polis had to leave for a family emergency, asked Potter to get estimates and bring them to City Hall. Potter said he thinks the best design will be to have one main door with entrances that run right and left to the men’s and women’s restrooms.
In other business, the council voted unanimously to keep city taxes at their current rate. Real property will be taxed at 25 cents per $100 of assessed value, motor vehicles will be taxed at 25 cents per $100, and tangible property, such as merchandise in stores, power lines and other power transmission infrastructure, will be taxed at the rate of 45 cents per $100.
Nathaniel Wilder stood in for Water Superintendent Chris Banks and told the council water losses are down for July mainly because water department workers found and repaired several major leaks. Wilder said water workers are making progress on locating and repairing leaks and added that the city’s main well is in much better shape now because of the heavy rains in the area and the auxiliary well is still overflowing.
Council member Furby brought up an instance of flooding in Fleming following heavy rains and Councilman Tom Haynes said he had looked at the affected area and the flooding was caused because two culverts were full of mud and rocks from earlier rains. He said city workers will clean both out. Furby said the flooding didn’t get into homes in Fleming but did put a lot of mud and rock in people’s yards.