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Oil, other fluids in trash cause mess in Neon

Sanitation customers in Fleming-Neon are being asked not to include motor oil, paint, or other liquid chemicals in the garbage they put out for collection.

At the September meeting of the Fleming Neon City Council, city foreman Jake Johnson told the council that a few customers have been putting used motor oil and paint in their trash and when it is compacted in the truck, it creates a serious mess on city streets. In response to a question from Councilman Trey Quillen, Johnson said sanitation workers know who is putting chemicals in their garbage and said he will have a talk with them and ask them to stop before taking further action. Hall also said dried paint still causes problems and should not be put in regular garbage. He said if people have used vehicle fluids, paint, or other chemicals they want to dispose of, they should contact City Hall for advice on how to do it safely.

In other business, the council discussed the possibility of locating a memorial to Fleming-Neon area veterans somewhere in the city. Council member Linda Cantrell asked about the possibility of a memorial and Mayor Susie Polis said she has been approached by several people interested in establishing one, including former Letcher County Sheriff Vernon Hall. Polis said Hall offered to help the city find funding for a memorial, but said the council will have to deliberate on how to determine who is included and where to locate a memorial. The council decided to form a committee, which includes all council members, to discuss a memorial. Councilman James D. Collins told the council the memorial wall on the side of City Hall is also available to anyone who wants to put a name there. The cost is $15 to place a name on the memorial wall.

The council also decided to table a decision on continuing with the city’s current insurance carrier for employee health care. Mayor Polis told the council the cost for the coming year would exceed the amount of $26,000 budgeted for employee insurance by $499. Before a vote to expand the budget was taken, Trey Quillen, who works with the Fleming-Neon Volunteer Fire Department, told the council the fire department had gotten a substantial savings on its insurance and Mayor Polis suggested the council get a quote from the same carrier.

Mayor Polis said the city had decided to hold off on replacing the old bridge to the Kiddy Park until after Neon Days when she found out the safety fence that will go on both sides of the bridge would not be ready. Polis said when the fence is ready, county workers will go ahead with the bridge replacement. She said the delay was an issue of safety since a lot of people would be going back and forth on the bridge during Neon Days.

Police Chief Mike Dingus said Neon Days was a great success and there had been almost no criminal activity during the festival. He said one car had been vandalized but other than that, the festival had been well ordered and no arrests were made. The vehicle vandalism involved stolen accessories.

Nathaniel Wilder of the Fleming-Neon Water Department reported that everything is going well with water and sewer and said water losses are down to a rate of 36 percent. Mayor Polis told the council the city had lost a true friend and a valued worker with the death of Wayne ‘Sarge’ Sergent, who helped out the water department, and said he will be badly missed. Sergent was a retired coal mine maintenance foreman and master electrician. Polis said her heart and the hearts of the council go out to his family and last week had been a hard one for Fleming-Neon.

Polis also told the council that further sidewalk repairs will be scheduled as soon as funding is available. She praised city workers, including sanitation workers and police officers, for the work they put in during Neon Days.

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