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Neon to consider lot offer


Fleming-Neon Mayor Susie Polis and the Fleming Neon City Council may have the opportunity to sell an empty lot and see a structure to aid young people built in its place, following an inquiry about the lot at its February meeting.

At the Monday evening meeting, Neon resident Jeff Hawkins asked the council about the possibility of purchasing the lot that was home to the Fleming- Neon Branch of the Letcher County Public Library until it burned in 2014.

The city took possession of the lot through an exchange with the Letcher County Library Board after the fire-damaged ruins of the library were removed. The new library was built on the site of the Hazen Department Store. The arrangement consisted of the exchange of the old library lot with the Letcher County Library Board for the Hazen’s lot, which had been given to the city by the Hazen family.

Hawkins said the old library lot is near some property owned by his family and he would like to put something there that would benefit young people. He said he has spent 30 years in public education and among the things he is considering is a WiFi center to aid students taking virtual classes.

Polis told Hawkins she is fine with selling the lot and the council agreed. However, Polis said she would like to speak with the city attorney to make sure there are no legal obstacles before selling the property. She added that she would love to see something built in the lot. Hawkins said he thought the lot might have to be sold at a public auction.

The February meeting marked Polis’s first meeting since she was badly injured in a fall at her home in December. Polis said she has made good progress toward a full recovery, but she still has to attend physical therapy sessions and has more work to do. Her first act of the February meeting was to swear in returning members Kenneth Holbrook, James D. Collins, Rick Fleming, and Linda Cantrell for a new term. All four were re-elected in the November elections.

Polis also announced that the city has received $15,242 from the federal COVID-19 Relief Fund. The money will be added to the city’s budget to recoup city money spent on COVIDrelated expenses.

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