Water continues to be a problem in Fleming-Neon as the Kentucky River undercuts roads, and water coming off Haymond Hill has made the Little League Park in Fleming unusable. The Fleming-Neon City Council announced plans to spend up to $50,000 to replace sidewalks in Fleming that have been damaged or covered by road paving to expand the road after it has been undercut on the riverside. Polis said the city will advertise for bids as soon as it can get specifications for the sidewalks.
Councilman Trey Quillen told the council at its April meeting that a piece of the sidewalk has been taken every time the road is paved because the Kentucky River keeps undercutting State Highway 343, which runs between Fleming-Neon and McRoberts. Wayne Sergeant, who works with the Water Department, said the ballpark is so wet from runoff it would do a good deal of damage to take any equipment onto the baseball field to try to channel the water away from it.
Water Board member Marshall Bevins agreed that it would destroy the field to take equipment onto it and said the water is coming from a culvert installed by the county. The culvert channels water coming off Haymond Hill to the ball park and has created a problem with standing water around the park and the Baptist church. Mayor Susie Polis said she has spoken with Judge Pro-tem Eddie Meade about the situation and said she would call him Monday evening after the meeting to see if he a solution in mind. Councilman James D. Collins said he had seen Meade at the site but hadn’t spoken to him. Collins said he had been drenched as water from the puddle in front of the church was splashed through the open window of his car as he drove past.
In other business, the council discussed the ongoing problem of removing abandoned and dilapidated buildings in the city limits. Councilman Collins, who has been the city’s point man on blighted and deteriorated property, asked about the problem and Polis said some progress has been made. Polis told the council there is some interest in buying the old Dollar Store building in town, and she has asked City Attorney James Wiley Craft II to look into collecting back taxes on the property before it is sold. She said several of the broken windows have been boarded up and a great deal of debris has been removed from the building.
Councilman Quillen also pointed to efforts to clean up around Neon Junction as a positive sign and Bevins told the council the “USS Minnow” has been removed as well. The Minnow is a boat that was thought to have been abandoned across from the Chevron Station at Neon Junction, but was removed recently by the owner. The council also discussed a junkyard and the old Gulf Station on the road to Jackhorn and a trailer on the same road that needs to be removed as well.
Wayne Sergeant gave the Utilities Report in the absence of Superintendent Carlos Phillips, who is recovering from shoulder surgery. Sergeant told the council both the city’s wells are in the best shape they’ve been in for quite a while and that water losses are about the same as they have been for most of the winter. Sergeant said that everything else is going well with the water and sewer plant.
Sergeant also said work on the control panel for the new sewer pumping station, which will replace the old station near Neon Junction, has not started. In response to a question from Councilman Collins, Sergeant said city sewers haven’t been examined by cameras on fiber optic cables yet this year but that the camera inspection is done annually.
Fleming-Neon Police Chief Mike Dingus told the council that arrests are down from the autumn and early winter, but said he isn’t complaining because crime is down too. Dingus also reported that he hasn’t received any news on a grant proposal to purchase a four-wheel drive vehicle for the department’s use. He said he expects to hear from the Kentucky League of Cities about a safety grant soon.
Mayor Polis reminded residents that the PRIDE clean-up is scheduled for Saturday, April 16, and urged everyone to come out and help. The back-up day in case of rain is April 23.