September 19, 2006, News
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Natural gas prices to go
By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last week the Electric Plant Board of the City of Vanceburg moved to lower natural gas rates by five percent beginning with the September 20 billing cycle. The rate reduction will be reflected on the October bill.
The board adopted a resolution to accept the $500,000 Kentucky Infrastructure Authority Sewer Grant agreement and to authorize the signing of all the pertinent documents. The funds will be used to upgrade the sewer system to comply with state regulations for combined sewer and sanitary sewer overflows.
Superintendent Phil Kennedy told the board that Dr. Andrew Ernest from Western Kentucky University is helping the local utility company comply with the Clean Water Act of 1996.
He added that the company has received the preliminary permit for the wastewater treatment plant. That permit includes nine controls the company has to meet in the long-term control plan to deal with the combined sewers. Kennedy said that he has been spending a lot of time on it and is still on line to meet with the Division of Water and Enforcement about the agreed order with the state.
He said that he is trying to lay the groundwork to be able to talk with those people when they come back in to say, “Here are some things we can do in a short period of time to possibly alleviate some of the problems that we’re going to have.”
Kennedy pointed out that they could do the smoke testing and camera work to see what kind of problems exist.
The board moved to accept the low bid of $1,169,227.64 from G&W Construction, Morehead, for the 2004 Water Project.
Kennedy said that eight bids were received, and this is the first time all the bids came from the local region.
He explained, however, that the bids came in a little higher than the money available for the project. Kentucky Rural Development recommended that the utility company go to the Kentucky Rural Water Association and borrow the money for one year to go ahead and complete the project, and when the money comes available Rural Development will loan it to the company or possibly provide some grant money.
With that in mind the board moved to obtain interim financing through a temporary one-year loan of $276,000 from the Kentucky Rural Water Association.
The 2004 Water Project calls for water lines to Finger Board, Salt Lick, Hackworth Hollow, Scotts Branch and Fuller Branch plus three pump stations.
In relation to that project Kennedy told the board that Peoples Self Help Housing has requested that the lines to Fuller Branch be run first so they can put in 22 new water taps for homes being built in the area. The move would cost an estimated $40,000. The utility company would use its own money if billed before the funds come in and then get reimbursed. The board moved to comply with that request from PSHH.
After the board approved the financial reports for the month Kennedy said that the Environmental Protection Agency has strongly suggested that the company provide a storage container for transformers to protect against spills. He told the board that the container would cost about $1,000 and would be located on Bradford Lane.
Kennedy then requested that the board authorize him to start looking for a new backhoe with an extended boom. He said that the one now used is a 1994 model and requires a lot of expensive repair work. He said he wants to keep the old one as a backup after the new one is purchased. The board authorized Kennedy to prepare the specs for the new backhoe and to proceed as requested.
The board approved the September invoices before adjourning.
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Bid awarded for animal shelter
By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last week the Lewis County Fiscal Court began by adopting Evans Lane into the county road program. The action was taken on the recommendation of Road Foreman Dane Howard who inspected the 460-foot stretch of road. He told the court that the road had been improved and with the addition of some rock on the base would meet the county’s specifications.
The court approved the second reading of an ordinance for the implementation and maintenance of structure addresses and the marking of those addresses in Lewis County. The addressing is in conjunction with Enhanced-911 (E-911). County Attorney Clayton “Buddy” Lykins Jr. told the court that the ordinance needed to have a word or two changed in order to clarify whether it applies to all structures or just new structures. It is intended to apply to all structures. The addresses or house numbers must be displayed in a conspicuous place and be legible.
The purpose of the new addressing is to make the locations easy to find during an emergency call.
County Judge Executive Steve Applegate said that the Postal Service would notify all residents of their new address numbers.
The court quickly approved the second readings of two ordinances making amendments to the budget. One shows unbudgeted receipts of $302,656 for E-911. The other shows unbudgeted receipts of $42,765.30 for the Illegal Dump Site Fund.
The court approved the bid of Wilburn Enterprises, Vanceburg, for the new Lewis County Animal Shelter. Wilburn’s bid was reviewed after being opened at last month’s session. Applegate reported to the court that the bid of $78,500 met all the required specifications and that the company has worker’s comp and a performance bond.
The court moved to transfer the deed for the property on Lions Lane for the new firehouse to the Lewis County Volunteer Fire Department.
The court tabled an agreement for The Managed Pharmacy Benefit Services through the National Association of Counties
(NACo) until it can be further reviewed. Although the prescription drug discount program would be free to all county residents the program can only be used at designated pharmacies, most of them with large corporations, and the court was not sure how that would affect local and/or small pharmacies. The County Attorney also had a question about liability issues. The wording of the agreement seems to indicate that anyone who becomes ill from using the discounted drugs could file a lawsuit against all parties involved including the county.
The court approved a $500 donation to the local DARE program.
It also approved a resolution regarding the reconstructed county road approaches on the AA Highway (KY 10). In effect the resolution returns ownership of those approaches to the county.
The court approved two Kentucky Infrastructure Authority Grant Assumptions and Assignment Agreements for the Garrison Water and Sewer District. One was for fiscal year 2005, and the other for 2007.
The court approved all the claims and transfers for the General, Road and Bridge and Jail Accounts and the treasurer’s report.
Applegate announced that the Buffalo Trace Area Development District has completed the re-addressing of the county for E-911. The information will be turned over to the Postal Service for their conversions.
He also reported that the Kentucky Transportation Department has awarded Lewis County $550,000 for Holly Road; $153,172 for improvements on the AA Highway; and $120,495 for rumble strips and striping on the AA Highway.
Rather than adjourning the court recessed the September session until 9:30 a.m. on Monday, September 25 in order to settle some issues with the tax rolls and tax rates before October.
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City Council adopts three resolutions
By Al Owens
Meeting in regular session last week the Vanceburg City Council took action to comply with three state regulations.
The council adopted a resolution authorizing the city to adopt the State Agency Title VI Implementation Plan and to name the City Clerk, Jeana Billman, as the Title VI Coordinator for the city.
The council adopted a second resolution to comply with the Fair Housing laws. It prohibits discrimination in the matter of the sale, rental, leasing or financing of housing or land for the construction of housing or the provision of brokerage services because of race, color, religion, sex or national origin. The resolution will be published in the local paper.
With the third resolution the city agreed to implement the Affirmative Action Plan. The plan is designed to increase opportunities for training and employment for lower income residents of the project area.
It also increases the utilization of business concerns within the Section 3 covered area or owned by Section 3 area residents.
The council approved the sale of some recycling containers. Mayor William T. “Bill Tom” Cooper told the council that when the city purchased the containers the price was so good it bought many more than were actually needed. They are stored in the spec building at the Industrial Park at Black Oak. Other communities are entering the recycling program and can use the containers that Vanceburg doesn’t need.
The council also approved the sale of two small tracts of land as surplus property. The property was received during the Town Branch Project.
The council further approved the sale of a 1994 Police Cruiser as surplus property
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The Lewis County Sheriff's Office arrested two Laurel men on Wednesday evening, September 13.
Deputy Johnny Bivens stated that he went to a residence on Laurel Road in an attempt to execute an arrest warrant on Ernest Wayne Bloomfield.
Bivens said that as he arrived at he residence, Bloomfield ran from the front porch and went inside.
Bivens said that when he went inside the residence looking for Bloomfield, it was determined that Bloomfield had exited the rear of the residence and ha run into a wooded area.
Bivens said that as he came back out of the residence, he observed Donald Jones running from the rear of the residence, carrying a green bag which contained a large amount of suspected marijuana.
As Bivens and Deputy Tom Polley began searching for Bloomfield, they came upon a mature marijuana pant growing in the wooded area behind the residence.
The deputies also located Bloomfield, who was arrested without incident.
County Sheriff's Office
Lewis County Sheriff's deputies discovered marijuana while serving a warrant in
the Laurel area last week.
Bloomfield was arrested on an outstanding warrant from Lewis County Circuit Court. Jones was arrested and charged with cultivation of marijuana. Both were lodged in the Lewis County Detention Center. Bivens noted that additional charges are possible.
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