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Water leaks, beavers plague Neon


Elusive water leaks and an infestation of beavers have plagued the City of Fleming-Neon as spring breaks out. At the April meeting of the Fleming- Neon City Council, Water Manager Chris Banks told the council that city workers have been working with leak specialists from Kentucky Rural Water to find and repair leaks. He said that although they have managed to repair a number of leaks, three have evaded detection, but they know their general location.

Banks said one leak along Main Street, one in Seco and one on the back street of Fleming have proven difficult to pinpoint, even with leak detection equipment. He said the people from Rural Water believe the leaks result from pipe movement, probably caused by the weather. This has caused connecting couplings to slip and allow water to leak. Banks said if this is true, it will make them difficult to find and city workers will probably have to dig up sections of line and examine the couplings. Banks said the leaks are not insignificant and cost the city approximately 2,544,00 gallons of treated water each month.

The city is early in the process of obtaining grant funding for the second phase of the water system rehabilitation plan. The process will involve several phases and will eventually replace city lines. In Phase I, the city water plant was rehabilitated.

The city produced 9,330,000 gallons of treated water in Match and sold 3,872,742 gallons, for a difference of 5,457,258 gallons. It lost 2,425,000 from line breaks, adjusted for 258,000 gallons, used 623,490 gallons at the wastewater treatment plant, and 490,000 gallons at the water treatment plant. City Hall used 520 gallons, the Fleming-Neon Volunteer Fire Department used 3,340 gallons, and 84,000 gallons were used to backwash filters at the water treatment plant. The loss of water that is accounted for is 2,504,656, leaving an unaccounted loss of 2,952,602, or 32 percent.

Mayor Susie Polis also reported that a number of the blooming trees and shrubs the council planted several years ago at the city park have been taken down by beavers. She said the latest to go was a blooming tree that was cut down by beavers last week. Polis also said several “butterfly shrubs” have proven tasty to the beavers as well, and pointed out the remains of one at the park entrance. She said one tree had fallen across the highway and blocked traffic. Polis said she will contact the Department of Fish and Wildlife, but isn’t sure it will do anything since the beavers haven’t built dams on streams running through the city.

The council voted unanimously to approve the reading of a resolution to accept $15,439.56 in Road Aid Funds from the Kentucky Department of Transportation. The funds can be used on all streets designated in the road plan as city streets, and will be used for patching potholes, resurfacing and general maintenance.

The city hasn’t received a reply from the Letcher County Sanitation Department in regard to a request for county workers to service the Dumpster at the Fleming-Neon Little League Park in Goose Creek. Mayor Polis said she hasn’t received a reply in regard to a letter she sent concerning the building across from the Carty Funeral Home that once housed a Dollar Store, apartments, and other businesses. Polis said she sent a registered letter to the building’s owner, Larry Tolliver of Jeremiah, but has not heard anything from him. She said the building poses a danger to pedestrians and motorists because it could easily collapse. The roof has fallen into the interior of the building.

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