The Jenkins City County voted unanimously this week to appoint Roy Triplett, who lives in the Wheaton Hollow neighborhood, to fill the vacant council seat created by the death of Carol Anne Litts.
The vote came Monday night after the council members went into closed session midway through the meeting and emerged with a recommendation from Councilman Robert Adams that Triplett fill the seat.
Jenkins Mayor G.C. Kincer said Triplett is very civic minded and is a member of the Jenkins Volunteer Fire Department, where he also serves as chaplain. The vote was unanimous and Kincer said he will be glad to have him. Kincer read a plaque commemorating Litts for her service to the city, not only as a council member for 12 years, but for her dedication to the people. Kincer also said Litts had been a good businessperson and an active volunteer in the city.
“Carol Anne added a mixture to this crowd to make us realize there are other people in world, little people and older people, and she always stood for them,” said Kincer. “We will miss her.”
In other business, the council conducted the second reading of Ordinance 243 to change the meeting date to first Thursday of each month. The ordinance passed unanimously and Kincer said he believes it will work better for city. The new meeting schedule will take effect at the September meeting, which will be held on Thursday, September 4. Kincer also said the city will have new speakers in city hall for the next meeting to help the audience hear.
Paul Nesbitt of Nesbit Engineering reported that the new water filters at the city water plant are in place and have been working for about six weeks. Nesbitt said they are a huge asset and turn out good water. The filters were paid for by coal severance taxes and the installation was done without incurring any debt to city. He added that the pipes in the water plant have also been repainted and color coded.
Nesbitt also told the council that water customers in the Payne Gap Water Project area are being hooked up on the lower end of the system. The city’s tank at the Raven Rock Golf Course was inspected and workers found some deterioration. Abandoned Mine Lands will pay for rehabilitating the tank, and for repainting it.
City Manager Todd De- Priest reported that the swimming pool is still doing well, and attendance is good, even with cooler weather. The heaters have been turned on. DePriest also said that at the next meeting, he will have a final report on the pool so the council can set prices for season passes for the following year. Council member Rebecca Amburgey said that the weather has been so cool recently it may have been better for users that season passes were not available this year.
Chief Stephens told the council he wanted to single out Deputy Chief Crystal Davis and Corporal Josh Richardson for meritorious service, and added that he has prepared letters of commendation for their files. He said Richardson responded to a vehicle breakdown on US 23 and the people he helped reported that Richardson had been very good with their kids. They told Stephens the children had been afraid of police officers before, but Richardson had so good with them it had helped them to be comfortable around police officers.
Stephens told the council that in addition to her quick thinking in helping an overdose victim, Crystal Davis has carried more cases than anyone else and keeps her records in very good order. He also praised city mechanic Matt Anderson, who takes care of the police cars. Stephens said Anderson has the cars running well, and uses his spare time to maintain and clean vehicles.
Stephens said the police department will do some targeted enforcement on speeding, particularly on Lakeside Drive. The department only has two radar units, but Chief Stephens said they don’t need radar to enforce the law because speeders can be charged with reckless driving or with more serious offenses. He said officers will start with warnings and move to issuing tickets only if necessary. They will do targeted enforcement and use radar and conduct roadblocks in trouble spots in the city.
Mayor Kincer said that while the city can’t lower the speed limit on Lakeside, it can take possession of the road. However, he said the city will then be responsible for maintenance of the highway and sidewalk. The street was offered to the city and the council turned it down previously, and Kincer said the maintenance costs would be very high. The council agreed that it doesn’t want it.
Stephens also mentioned other safety issues, including trash and garbage build-up as well as lawn maintenance. He said when he gets a complaint he usually contacts the property owner first. If there is no response, he will send a letter. Most property owners take action after a verbal request
Councilman Rick Damron asked Stephens about the possibility of getting a drug sniffing dog, but Stephens said the dogs are very expensive. He said the state police will bring one of their dogs in, but they usually do it during the school year. Stephens said the Whitesburg Police Department also has a dog and that Henry Day of the Whitesburg department has been very good to help out.