City will receive no stimulus for water, sewer, says clerk

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By Kate Darnell

The city of Cynthiana will not receive any water or sewer federal stimulus money from the state of Kentucky, city clerk Charleen McIlvain reported at Tuesday evening’s city commission meeting.

McIlvain said that while the state will receive $20 million for water projects and $60 million for sewer projects, Cynthiana will not receive any of those first-round funds this year.

“The state prioritizes these projects and our projects, and as much as a priority as they are to us, on a state level, they are not at the highest level,” McIlvain said.

McIlvain said after being in contact with state Rep. Tom McKee, she was informed that Cynthiana will receive funding from the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet.

“Cynthiana and Harrison County is getting money to build the new viaduct on the north end of Main Street as part of our portion of Cynthiana’s stimulus money,” McIlvain said she was told.

One parcel of land and right-of-way remains in legal proceedings, stalling the construction progress.

“The minute that last parcel has cleared up, that project could be bid the next day,” said McIlvain.

Mayor Pro-tem Jack Keith said the detour around the northern Main Street bridge has caused traffic congestion on Church Street.

“Church Street has become a thoroughfare,” Keith said. “... It’s critical we get this matter resolved as soon as possible.”

McIlvain urged commissioners to continue speaking with state legislators and agencies.

“I think it’s important all of you continue to call Frankfort on a regular basis to remind them that Cynthiana is still here and Cynthiana needs assistance, and Cynthiana wants a portion of the stimulus money to do the projects that are much needed and long over-due in our community,” McIlvain said.

“We’re going to keep this out in front of us,” said Commissioner Mark Mattmiller. “...Eventually something will happen, it’s just not going to be now.”

Other business included:

•Lena Datko of CEDA/WJL updated the commission on the progress of the Westside Redevelopment Project. Titles, appraisals and review appraisals on the properties on West Mill Street are complete, Datko said.

Datko said one of the six property owners contacted voluntarily agreed to the property acquisition. While the five other property owners had not been heard from, Datko said the commission can begin legal action of condemnation at their next regular meeting.

•Linden Smith, administrator of Cynthiana-Harrison County-Berry Planning and Zoning presented commissioners with a comprehensive plan for review.

•Commissioners approved two resolutions pertaining to the Westside Redevelopment Project, one approving just compensation for the acquisition of property, and another granting payment for the project thus far, totaling $61,557.68.

•Commissioners approved a grant agreement with KIA for $835,000. The grant, administered by the state of Kentucky, will help repair the pumps and pump stations on the Main Licking River.

•In other legal issues, the commission approved the first reading of an ordinance amendment pertaining to waste water surcharges.

•Christine Pfetzer was hired as a part-time certified E911 Telecommunicator III, Gary Royalty was hired as Public Works Director, and the commission approved the promotion of Kendall Gann to Public Works Maintenance Worker II.

•The commission voted to advertise for a part-time certified firefighter.

“The fire department is understaffed right now,” said Commissioner of Public Safety Amanda Moore.

Moore said hiring part-time employees will help save the city money on overtime expenses.

•The commission voted to advertise for a certified or non-certified police officer, and to advertise internally for an assistant police chief.

•Commissioners voted to send five firefighters to a methodology training class in Scott County.

•Mattmiller reminded Cynthiana citizens to retrieve their trash containers within 24 hours after their trash has been picked up.

•Commissioners voted to declare a 1990 Ford truck, a 1997 F150 Ford truck with a utility bed, and two storage buildings as surplus property.

•Mattmiller updated the commission on the progress of code enforcements. Mattmiller reported that several buildings are being repaired and one is being torn down. Mattmiller said the commission is also addressing abandoned cars on public property.

•The commission voted to repair the roof of the water treatment plant at the cost of $14,625 with a 20-year warranty covering the materials and labor. Keith said the cost had been budgeted.

•The commission voted to purchase a track hoe under state contract for water line repair work, at the cost of $37,276.87.

•Also for the maintenance of water lines, the commission voted to purchase a 16-foot trailer at $2,245.

•Commissioner of Public Works Jimmy New reported that tree limbs will continue to be picked up for another two weeks. Limbs can still be taken to the industrial park, off the Connersville Pike entrance.

•New reiterated that recycling days will change to every other Thursday beginning April 9.

“We are encouraging everyone to recycle,” said New.

Recycling carts can be attained by calling Legacy Carting at 1-866-587-7170 or City Hall.

New advised that recycling items do not have to be separated or bagged. Glass, construction debris, tires, batteries and liquids will not be picked up.

Each recycling cart has a serial number matching the residence.

“If you move, you do not take your cart with you,” New said.

New said anyone with questions can call Legacy Carting or City Hall.

The Cynthiana City Commission will next meet on Tuesday, March 24, at 5:30 p.m. in the Commissioners’ Room in City Hall.