Drivers in cars and on all-terrain vehicles on Highway 343 in Fleming have created a dangerous situation for children living along the road by operating their vehicles at excessive speeds, residents say.
Three men who live along Highway 343 told the Fleming-Neon City Council at its July meeting that bridge repairs on the end of a straight stretch in Fleming have created an ideal situation for speeders, and that cars and four wheelers go so fast it is a real threat, especially to children. Fleming- Neon Mayor Susie Polis said the Kentucky Department of Transportation is planning to straighten another bridge at the other end of the straight stretch and that could make the problem worse, they said.
Jeff Potter, who moved to Fleming two years ago, said he lives on a block with quite a few children. Potter said that although the listed speed limit is 25 miles per hour, it’s not uncommon to see cars and four wheelers going well over 60. He added that Sunday is the worst day, with the added number of children visiting their grandparents making the situation worse. Potter said a lot of the worst offenders are the same people day after day.
Potter said the problem is citywide and that he has been passed on Main Street in Neon while trying to observe the speed limit. He said that with summer and the quarantines, it seems like there are more bicycle riders, and they are in danger too. Between bicycle riders and the tendency of children to wander into roads, Potter said a bad accident may be inevitable.
“One will be too late,” said Potter.
Former councilman Brett Collins, who lives on the same road, added that many of the speeders are very rude. He said they blow past slower drivers and occasionally make obscene gestures to them.
Fleming resident Frank Short Jr. asked Polis if the city was able to have police patrol the streets every day. Polis said that city Police Officers Mike Dingus and Alan Bormes will get on top of it, but added that with only two officers on the force, the city can’t afford to have a continuous police presence. She said the city just doesn’t have the money to pay for more officers. Jeff Potter said it’s apparent that many of the lawbreakers know the department is limited.
In other business, Mayor Polis announced that as of July 1, late fees on city water and sewer bills will be reinstated. Polis said that during the COVID-19 shutdowns, late fees and cut-offs for delinquent accounts were suspended. But beginning with the July billing cycle, regular practices for delinquent accounts are in effect, and the city will enforce disconnects and charge late fees just as it did before the shutdown. Polis said she is following the lead of the other city water departments in the county.
Debbie Baker, who said she inherited a farm in Goose Creek, asked the council if there is any way the city could help her get water lines extended, at least to her property line. She said at the time the lines were installed, her uncle, the man from whom she inherited, had two operating wells on his land and didn’t take the opportunity to have a line run to his property at no cost. But now, years of mining in the area have ruined the wells and she needs city water.
Polis told Bentley that it would cost almost $1,100 just to extend the line from the last meter to her property line, and her house would be the only one served. She said that goes against policy, since the original landowner refused the line at the time it was being laid, and the city can’t afford the expense at this time.