Council has first reading on Duvall Water water line project loan

Posted February 22, 2024 at 9:42 am

Albany City Council held yet another special called meeting last Wednesday afternoon, February 14, on the water line project for Duvall Valley and surrounding areas.
Five of six members were on hand, with Councilman Junior Gregory joining the session via Zoom. Councilwoman Renee York was unable to attend the called meeting.
The only item of business was the first reading of an ordinance “approving and authorizing an Assistance Agreement between the City of Albany and the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) to provide up to $2,500,000 of Loan Funds for the Duvall Valley Project.”
The ordinance summary was read aloud by Albany Mayor James Bray, with the floor then being opened for comments and/or questions of Monarch Engineer David Bowles, who was present for the meeting.
Monarch is the engineering firm for the Duvall Valley Water Improvement Project, which is ongoing, with about half of the project now being complete.
City Attorney Jeff Hoover reminded the council that a vote was not necessary on the first reading of an ordinance, only on second and final reading, but the council did opt, after discussion, to vote to accept first reading, but not before some discussion.
(Second and final reading on the aforesaid ordinance was held during another special meeting of the council held this past Wednesday, February 21–too late for press deadline).
Councilman Reed Sloan asked Bowles if he was confident that his company (Monarch) could do the job and secondly, would they give back any money if it wasn’t done right.
Bowles’ answer to each question, respectively was, “yes,” and “absolutely not.”
The engineer indicated no guarantees could be made of anything being fixed 100 percent.
Sloan then said that five years ago, engineers indicated the project in question would be 100 percent funded and fixed.
Mayor Bray said this (situation) has been done over time by previous administrations, saying this current water line project is already about 75 percent complete.
He added that even though the lines themselves did not get into Duvall Valley or Sugar Valley, they do connect at the junction of Hwy. 415.
Councilman Leland Hicks questioned if the lines at that point connected to existing lines, with the mayor saying the new 12 inch lines will connect to existing six inch lines to both areas.
Bowles added that once the project is complete, it will help the entire area “considerably.”
Sloan then said he had heard that the leaks along the areas that have had new lines installed had been only small leaks so far, and asked how are bigger lines going to help.
Bowles said the project replaces service lines that are in place now and with that it will create more water pressure and said also, the new line won’t leak.
Sloan, however, disagreed with that assertion.
Councilman Tim Norris asked Bowles if it would take the entire $2.5 million in loan funds to complete the project (as to where it is due to stop now), with Bowles saying they would go as far as they could with that amount of funding.
Mayor Bray again said that a new storage tank and some other items were not covered in the entire area under the $6.8 million the city has for the project.
Councilman Gregory then asked if there would be any contingency money left the city could use to further the project to add onto the loan.
Bowles said, “There will not be any funds left over. The $2.5 million is where we stood (on this project).”
The engineer added, “Once the base contract is complete, it’s done. If there are any funds left, it would have to go on this project, not in any other area.”
It was also noted any contingency funds left over would have to be dealt with by the council, either to release the funds back, or use it toward the Duvall Valley project as far as it may go.
The council, beginning with its regular meeting early this month, has discussed resolutions pertaining to funding of the water improvement project, first tabling a pair of resolutions that pertained to straight-up grants involved with the project.
They later approved the resolutions which allowed the line construction, which has been underway for the past few months, to continue in the area.
The KIA loan agreement seems to be the final piece of the total funding sources needed on this particular project, which will hopefully secure much needed water pressure relief to areas in eastern Clinton County.
Although first reading of an ordinance requires no action, Councilman Hicks made a motion to accept first reading of the loan fund ordinance agreement, which was seconded by Councilman Gregory and passed on a 4-1 vote. Council members Randy Speck and Tim Norris also voted in favor, with Sloan casting a no vote.
The meeting, which lasted approximately 15 minutes, was then adjourned.
The next regular meeting of Albany City Council is scheduled for March 5 at 5 p.m. at City Hall.