Water and sewer issues topped the agenda at the Whitesburg City Council’s October meeting as the city entered its first month of managing its water and sewer works after terminating a 17 year arrangement with Veolia Water.
Maintenance Superintendent Chris Caudill told the council that everything has been going well since the split and said state Department of Water personnel have visited both the water and sewer plants and are satisfied with the city’s management.
Mayor James Wiley Craft praised the water department and told the council the city had been fortunate to be able to keep the core personnel after Veolia left. Craft asked Caudill about upcoming purchases of water treatment chemicals, but Caudill said the current supplier, C.I. Thornburg of Lexington, is the only place that sells the treatment packages and parts the city needs and added that its projected prices are no higher than the city paid through Veolia. The council also learned that two long-awaited water projects are now underway.
Kevin Howard of Summitt Engineering announced that the checklist has been completed for the beginning of construction on the Solomon Road Water Project and said construction started that afternoon. Howard said he expects work on the six-inch line to be complete by the end of October and the pump station should be in and the project finished by Thanksgiving. The Solomon Road project is intended to raise water pressure to water customers living on Solomon Road.
The council conducted the reading of Resolution 2011- 5, which allows the city to accept a $150,000 grant from the Appalachian Regional Commission to be administered through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency. Craft said the grant should finish paying for the work on Solomon and added he is pleased the city didn’t have to enter into a loan for the project. The council also voted to adopt resolution 2011-6, which adopts environmental mitigation measures for the Solomon project and pledges the city will abide by federal regulations for the construction.
Paul Nesbitt of Nesbitt Engineering told the council that the agreement between the city and the Kentucky Division of Water ( DOW) has been approved to allow the city to begin work on the Kentucky River Water Intake Project, which will lower the point at which the city takes water in to the city water plant. The project is designed to minimize the possibility of contamination at the water plant in the event of another petroleum spill by allowing the intake to be placed below the level of contaminants.
Nesbitt said his office will go the DOW and ask it to begin executing the grant which will be drawn down to pay for the work. Nesbitt also praised Kevin Howard of Summitt Engineering for his suggestions on the use of sensors to guard against future contamination problems as well.
In other business, Craft announced that Halloween will be held on Monday, October 31, from 5 until 8 p.m. and said the Halloween Safe Night will be held on Main Street this year. Craft said booths will be set up on Main Street and traffic will be re-routed around town for the evening.
Mayor Craft also announced the city’s second annual Wipe Out Whitesburg with Pink on Friday, October 14, which highlights awareness of breast cancer. Craft asked council members and other city officials and personnel to gather at City Hall to honor council member Freda McFall, who is undergoing treatment for cancer. Craft urged citizens to come by Friday and sign cards for McFall and purchase T-shirts.