Whitesburg KY
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Whitesburg council meetings to air on new cable TV system

Residents of Whitesburg will soon be able to see recorded versions of meetings of the Whitesburg City Council on TVS Cable.

The May meeting will air next Monday (May 26) at 8 p.m. on Channel 24. Mayor James Wiley Craft made the announcement as he welcomed TVS employee Rick Hall, who was filming the meeting. Craft laughingly told council member Jimmy Bates, who is also Veterans of Foreign Wars commander for Kentucky, that he foresees a bright future for Bates as a TV star. Bates replied that getting TVS in Whitesburg had taken a long time. Craft promised in his campaign for mayor to get rid of Comcast Cable and replace it with TVS.

Kevin Howard of Summit Engineering told the council that a long-awaited Agreed Order from the Department of Water has been finalized and that he and Craft had gone through the order item by item with DOW representatives. He said several provisions had been eliminated because the city had already addressed them and that overall, the DOW is very happy with the city’s efforts to stay in communication with it. Howard said the department did request a Sewer System Evaluation Survey to be done by June of 2009, eight months after the new sewer plant is complete.

Mayor Craft said the record of violations went back to 2004 and that the original fine of $30,000 had been reduced to $5,000. He said that by begging, cajoling, and pleading, the city had managed to get the fine reduced and made payable in two installments of $2,500 each. Craft said he came out of the meeting very pleased.

“This wraps it all up,” said Craft.

Howard told the council there are pump stations which will need to be updated but the DOW will not press for them to be done within two years because it is not certain the city can obtain funding in that time frame. He also said that work on the new plant will move faster now that much of the initial concrete work has been done and equipment can be moved onto the site. Howard said the Whitco sewer line project is coming along and that a good portion of the force main is in the ground. He said there is still a good amount of work to be done but he is happy overall with the progress being made.

In other business, the council voted unanimously to add receipts from Municipal Aid, General Fund, and Water and Sewer, including $60,000 in alcohol tax funds, for a total of $382,724 to the city’s budget. The city has adjusted expenditures accordingly including improvements in the city swimming pool, park repairs, street equipment and other ongoing expenses.

The council also voted to accept the first reading of the Fiscal Year 2008- 2009 budget with total appropriations of just over $2,460,000. This does not include $5,882,869 for the Waste Water Treatment Project, which is funded completely, separate from other city budgets. Mayor Craft told the council to study the budget and bring suggested changes to him for the second reading. He said both budgets are on file at City Hall and available for public viewing during business hours.

Jeff Kilgore of Veolia Water reported meeting with Letcher County Water and Sewer District Director Greg Pridemore. He said Pridemore estimated that county usage for the next 12 months will be approximately 97,250,000 gallons. Kilgore reported ongoing maintenance and clean-up including planting flowers at the water plant. Monthly flow for the water treatment plant for April was 15,344,000 gallons and 5,729,000 for the sewer plant. Mayor Craft said that a non-functional hydrant on Bentley Street had been replaced and Kilgore told the council that at present there are no hydrants servicing the area between Childers Oil and the shopping center on the Old Jenkins Road. He said three new hydrants will be installed on Fields Cliff as part of the water line upgrades there.

The council also voted unanimously to allow Craft to advertise for architect services for the installation of the pedestrian bridge. Craft said it will be necessary to advertise in the Lexington Herald-Leader for the services.

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