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Water rates in Neon to go up 3% on July 1


Water rates for customers of the Fleming-Neon Water Company will increase by three percent beginning July 1.

Mayor Susie Polis reminded city water customers of the increase at the May meeting of the Fleming Neon City Council. The rate increase occurs automatically each year and was factored in as part of a loan agreement with Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to make sure the city can pay its loan. The loan was used for improvements in the city’s water system, including rebuilding the water treatment plant.

Water Manager Chris Banks reported a loss of treated water of 46 percent over the past month. Banks attributed the majority of the loss to a relatively large leak or series of leaks. He said that so far, water workers have not been able to locate the leaks and he has contacted Harold Kelly of Nesbitt Engineering for assistance. Kelly and Nesbitt Engineering have worked with the city on other water issues.

The city council conducted budget readings for the coming fiscal year, for the Fleming-Neon Water and Sewer Company as well as the city operating budget. The city budget includes $256,616.57 in projected revenue and $256,252.15 in projected expenditures, leaving a surplus of $354. The budget includes $15,639 in state Road Aid money and Local Government Economic Assistance (mineral severance taxes) of $8,000.

The water and sewer budgets were read separately, with the water budget coming in at $417,460 in revenue against $390,376 in expenses. The sewer budget calls for $271,056 and expenditures of $269,045.

In other business, council member Linda Cantrell read a resolution to refinance the loan for the water project with Kentucky Rural Water Finance in order to take advantage of lower interest rates. The council voted unanimously to refinance the $475,000 loan. Cantrell also reminded the council that a new “Blessing Box” is located in the corner of the city parking lot next to the entrance to the walking track and is to be used for charitable donations. Cantrell and Mayor Susie Polis both said they had left food and other goods there and have seen other citizens make donations as well.

Polis told the council that she has contacted an appraiser to get a price estimate for the old Fleming- Neon Library property. The city owns the lot as the result of a property exchange for the site of the new library with the Letcher County Library Board, and the council is interested in selling the lot. The council also met Andrea Meade, who will replace Janice Banks as city clerk after Banks retires at the end of June.

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