Residents of Haymond will soon see construction begin on the long-awaited Haymond Water and Sewer Project. Ken Taylor of Kenvirons, a Lexington engineering company working with the City of Fleming- Neon on water and sewer projects, told the Fleming- Neon City Council at its December meeting that bids were opened for the Haymond project recently and the single bidder, Boca Enterprises, entered a $1,809,150 bid that was substantially below the estimate and recommended the city accept the bid.
Taylor said Kenvirons has worked successfully with Boca in Pike County and has no concerns about its ability to complete the Haymond project successfully. He added that five other construction companies picked up specifications and plans for the bid, but a good deal of directional drilling is included in the project and Boca has its own drilling equipment. Taylor said he believes that fact probably caused the other firms to decline to submit bids.
Taylor asked the council to conduct the first reading of an ordinance which was prepared by Louisville Attorney Randall Jones of Reuben and Hayes, in compliance with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency, to allow the city to enter into a bond agreement giving it the ability to sell $255,000 in bonds to partially finance the project. The bonds are secured by a pledge of the gross revenue of the city.
Council member Cheryl Furby read an executive summary of the ordinance and the council approved it. The second reading will be conducted at a specialcalled meeting on December 30 at 6 p.m.
Taylor said RD has also said that a rate increase passed earlier in the year will have to go into effect by ordinance before it will finalize the agreement. RD specified the rate increase to ensure that the city will be able to service the debt and rates will go up from $12.25 for the first 2,000 gallons to $12.75 and from $5 for each additional 1,000 gallons to $5.25. The rate increase ordinance will also be on the agenda for the called meeting on December 30.
The council voted unanimously to authorize Mayor Susie Polis to sign all necessary documents for the Haymond project.
The council also voted unanimously to ask McRoberts resident Rodney Rose to fill the vacancy on the Fleming-Neon Water Board that was created by the death of Junior Welch. Polis said Rose is highly recommended and several council members spoke highly of him as well.
In other business, Water Department Superintendent Carlos Phillips told the council the water loss stands at 39 percent and asked the council’s permission to spend $7,200 for two tank meters to attach to water tanks throughout the district to help find the leaks. Phillips said by using the meters and isolating sections of the line by closing valves, it will be much easier to determine in what sections of pipe leaks are occurring. The council voted unanimously to authorize the purchase.
Council member James D. Collins told the council that the city’s franchise agreement with Intermountain Cable Company will come up for extension in January and asked that the topic be placed on the agenda for the called meeting as well. Collins and several other council members expressed their dissatisfaction with Intermountain, particularly in the area of service, and Collins asked to have representatives of TVS Cable in Hindman invited to the regular January meeting to discuss a possible franchise change.
Police Chief Mike Dingus reported that he has conducted an interview with a very promising candidate for the second full-time officer position, along with council member Furby and Mayor Polis. Dingus said the candidate has asked for discretion until he can inform his present employer.
Dingus also told the council that coal severance tax funding for several items ordered by former Chief Henry Day has come in and the items have arrived. Dingus added that he set some money aside for winter jackets for officers and unlock kits so officers can unlock vehicles without having to call the Letcher County Sheriff ’s Department for assistance.
A boil water advisory was issued due to an electrical problem at the water plant over the weekend, but council member Furby said a number of citizens had called her and said they were not aware of it until Monday. James D. Collins said he had contacted area radio stations but WYMT in Hazard doesn’t do weekend broadcasts. Collins also said he had contacted the County’s One Call Network but only two people can operate the system and he couldn’t get in touch with either of them. Collins said he later spoke with Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward and asked him for help in taking care of the access problem.