City council has busy agenda at regular June meeting

Posted June 19, 2019 at 8:33 am

Albany City Council held a special meeting last Tuesday, June 11 with four of six members present and various topics on the call meeting agenda.

The meeting was held in lieu of the council’s regular meeting which had been cancelled the previous week.

The council first heard second reading of amendments to its policies and procedures. One change is allowing city employees paid time off to attend funerals for extended family members such as in-laws; the second pertained to declaring President’s Day an official holiday in the City of Albany.

The council then opted to table second and final reading on the proposed 2019-20 fiscal year budget until more council members could attend and have input.

A special call meeting was held this past Tuesday, June 18 (too late for press deadline) for the second reading of the budget and details on that meeting and the budget will be published in next week’s edition.

The council voted unanimously, on a motion by Tonya Thrasher, to approve via resolution a Municipal Road Aid Cooperative agreement.

On a motion by councilman Reed Sloan, they also voted to enter into an interlocal agreement with the county and Kentucky State Bonding revenue for the purpose of blacktopping various city streets.

At least a couple of the six magistrates that make up the county’s fiscal court serve areas inside the city limits where road aid funds for blacktopping are used, primarily in the first and sixth districts.

The county had earlier adopted a similar interlocal agreement with the city and state.

Shannon Beaty, with the Lake Cumberland District Health Department, then presented the council with some health related statistics in the Albany/Clinton County area, compiled from 2018 data.

The statistics compared health factors and behaviors locally to the district, state and national averages and concentrated on areas where the LCHD would be concentrating, such as obesity, adult smoking, physical inactivity, teen births, food insecurities, diabetes and drug overdoses.

Ray Vilbert, a resident of the Bald Rock area, again addressed the council about the ongoing issue of low and sometimes ‘no’ water pressure in that area and the Duvall Valley area, primarily during summer months.

Vilbert noted that over the recent Memorial Day weekend, his home may have had water about “10 hours” the entire weekend. He also noted the 50,000 gallon water tank that had been installed only a couple of years ago had not helped the low water pressure situation in the area thus far.

“If you can’t get water to the tank, you’re not gonna have water,” he stated.

Mayor Lyle Pierce told the resident he had been in contact with an official with the Lake Cumberland Area Development District, and due to the area having formerly been (coal) mining territory, the city may be in line for a grant of up to $2.5 million.

Should the full amount be approved, it would pay for actual lines to be laid and hopefully help fix the pressure problems permanently.

The mayor noted that paperwork for the grant application was to be filled out last week, however, no time lines on when the application itself may be sent in or when an announcement could come about whether or not it would be approved.

Vilbert said he couldn’t ask more from the Albany Water Department employees, who have constantly been on scene and tried to help with the situation, also adding he would help (the city) in any way he could to get the situation corrected.

He estimated there were about 15 residents affected but noted that his residence was at about the highest peak, he was probably having more difficulty when it comes to low water pressure to his property.

The problem is especially worse in summer months when peak water usage is prevalent and the fact that several poultry houses that require a lot of water are in the Bald Rock and Duvall Valley areas.

Councilman Tony Delk said “we (city) paid money to sit the tank up and was told (by city engineers) the problem would be resolved,” asking, “what does the engineer(s) have to say about it?”

There also has been a problem with the tank installed having major leaks and councilwoman Thrasher said the city’s engineer should access the situation, as well as the company who installed the tank.

Patrick Padron, chairman of the Tourism Commission, then addressed the mayor and council pertaining to the Hometown Heros banners that are hung at various locations in the city.

Padron questioned any agreement made between the city and Tourism Board about the banners and asked mayor Pierce if he had favored moving the banners from the city to the park.

The mayor, however, said he was not in favor of such a move and that if they were moved to the park, they would be subject to being stolen or vandalized.

Although city employees actually install the banners when they are switched out, the banners honoring local veterans are paid for by the purchasers and most of the expense, other than city department labor, is paid for by the Tourism Commission.

Street department employees, when they do replace the Hometown Hero banners, do so at night for safety reasons, it was noted.

All council members, including others that were in attendance, agreed that hanging the banners inside the city–and at no cost to the city–was a good thing for tourism and especially to honor local war veterans.

Mayor Pierce said there was no written agreement with the Tourism Commission and previous mayor pertaining to the city’s involvement in hanging the banners, but agreed it was a good project.

Although no vote was required on the issue, all council members agreed to leave the situation as is, including keeping the banners inside the city and allowing city employees to install them when needed.

The next regular meeting of Albany City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, July 2 at 5 p.m. at city hall and is open to the public.