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Neon to fix water, sewer plants

The Fleming-Neon City Council has selected Nesbitt Engineering of Lexington to serve as project engineer for upgrades to the Fleming- Neon water and sewer plants.

The council took the action at its December meeting Monday night after Kentucky River Area Development District representative Jennifer, who worked with the city on receiving and evaluating bid packages, told the council that Nesbitt received the highest score of the six firms that wanted the job. The scoring was done by a panel that evaluated the bids and qualifications of the bidders.

In other business, Mayor Susie Polis asked the council to set attendance standards for water commissioners. Polis said poor attendance for water board meetings hurts the board’s ability to conduct business and asked the council to set up a system to punish commissioners for poor attendance and to remove them from office if they persist. Polis suggested that commissioners lose their paycheck for meetings they don’t attend and be fired if unexcused attendance persists and asked the council for suggestions.

“These water commissioners need to be here,” said Polis. “They need to participate. We need them here and if they can’t make it, we need to find somebody who can.”

Council Member Cheryl Furby moved that commissioners only receive a paycheck for those meetings they attend and be subject to dismissal if they miss two meetings in a row or three overall. The council voted unanimously to approve the motion.

Water Superintendent Chris Banks told the council he has applied for a $20,000 grant to purchase leak detection equipment for city water lines. Banks said water leaks had increased to 34 percent for November and city workers have not been able to locate them so far. He added that Tim Blanton of Kentucky Rural Water (KRW) will be in town this week with equipment belonging to KRW to help locate the leaks and will recommend the best leak detection equipment to purchase if the grant comes through. Banks said he hopes to reduce water leaks in city lines to the national average of 15 percent or below. In response to a question about a pump that had fallen into the city well, Banks said he had placed another pump in the well so there would be no interruption in water service and city workers will retrieve the other pump soon.

Mayor Susie Polis announced the garbage collection schedule for Christmas week. No collection on December 24 and 25. Garbage that would regularly be picked up on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day will be picked up Wednesday, December 26. Blue bag recyclables will be picked up on Friday, December 28.

Polis also warned people against using the Dumpster at Fleming-Neon Middle School. She said the Dumpster is the property of Letcher County Schools and people who dump garbage there illegally will be prosecuted.

“I wish you would not put garbage in the Dumpster,” said Polis. “It is for school use and if we catch you, you will be fined. There are cameras there and we can prosecute you from the film.”

In other city business:

• Councilman James D. Collins announced that the city’s Christmas parade will be held on Saturday, December 15, and will begin at 5 p.m. Santa will hold court on the city stage across from the Kiddy Park.

• Council member Linda Cantrell told the council that stray dogs are creating problems in Fleming. Mayor Polis said she would pass it on to Fleming-Neon Police Chief Mike Dingus along with reports of dog problems in Neon.

• The council agreed to deed a small parcel of land to the First Church of God in Neon, located across from the post office building. Mayor Polis said the church intends to build an all-purpose room on the land.

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