Albany City Council discusses array of topics at March meeting

Posted March 9, 2021 at 2:23 pm

Albany City Council discussed a variety of topics during is regular meeting last Tuesday, March 2, with four of six members on hand for the approximate 40 minute session.

After approving minutes of two previous meetings, the council, on a motion by Reed Sloan, approved second reading of a 2020-21 fiscal year budget amendment to include $144,100 in COVID relief funding.

A Bald Rock area resident, one of several who have been experiencing water outage and low pressure problems for some time, had some questions about the ongoing Duvall Valley and Bald Rock water line project, among other concerns.

The resident first asked the council about the status of the project and was told the grant had been approved and was given an update as to where the city was thus far–currently trying to obtain all necessary easements for the project.

He then told the council that although he and other residents, about 15 total as stated at the meeting, have had the same issues, were still paying $60 to $80 per month water bills and said he thought the council had agreed to charge the minimum bill to those affected with the water problem.

It was further stated his normal bill ran between $45 and $50 monthly.

Mayor Lyle Pierce said he would check with the water office employees on the matter and further agreed to provide a minimum bill of up to three months (the time the problems existed) to those who had experienced the water outage, or low pressure problems.

The council agreed to reevaluate the situation in months to come, depending on whether or not problems persist in that area.

Also during his questions about the water project status and water bills, the resident thanked the city water department employees for their tireless work in attempting to get water to the area, finding leaks, and so forth, especially during the most recent ice and winter storm.

Councilwoman Tonya Thrasher then informed the council about a situation at Clinton Terrace Apartments at the top of “town hill” where trash was cluttered up on apartment porches and overhangs.

Thrasher questioned whether or not a letter to the facility’s owners or managers could be sent asking the problem to be cleaned up.

Councilman Joe Stockton then asked about the feasibility of hiring someone part-time, on a temporary basis, to help water department employees find water leaks in the city.

Water department employee Kenneth Delk then thanked the Kentucky Division of Rural Water for its assistance in that area, as well as Fire Chief Robert Roeper and the Albany Fire Department for supplying water to the Bald Rock area in recent weeks.

Delk noted the water pressure, as of last week’s meeting, in the Bald Rock area was doing better.

The mayor and council also commended the water department for the hard work and long hours they had put in over the past few weeks in adverse weather in finding and repairing broken lines.

The issue of a possible “leash law” was again discussed briefly by the council and city legal advisor Norb Sohm.

Sohm advised the council that such an ordinance needed to be stated in “certain terms,” and be “specific” and in terms of dogs causing problems for city residents and property.

During the discussion, it was also noted there are apparently chickens running loose in some areas of the city limits.

Councilwoman Thrasher recommended forming a committee to look at other cities’ similar laws and draw up some type of ordinance that would work here.

Councilman Stockton also asked if there was some type of ordinance dealing with “junk buildings” within the city limits.

Sohm said the city usually could send two letters to the building owners asking they be cleaned up. If the property owner refuses, the city could do the work and bill the owner and put a lien on the property.

Thrasher also suggested possibly adding a fine along with the other stipulations and mayor Pierce also said maybe it should include fixing junk vehicles into the same such ordinance.

The final item of business was the approval of a Mapping of City Roads, which the council passed following a motion by councilman Reed Sloan.

Thrasher did have one inquiry about one street name, noting that Conner Street in north Albany, although spelled correctly in the Resolution presented to the city, was misspelled on the actual street sign–being spelled (on the sign) Connor.

After a short discussion, the council agreed to erect a new street sign on Conner Street with the correct spelling.

The Resolution reads, in part, that the city agrees the roads in Appendix A (89 total) were part of the City Road System and roads in Appendix B only three listed) were not in the City Road System.

The city will maintain all 89 roads that are in the City Road System, with the three that were not in the system, according to the Resolution, being Fire Station Alley, Owens Road and Jessie Lane.

The next regular meeting of Albany City Council is scheduled for Tuesday, April 6, at 5 p.m. in the conference room at city hall.