Clarkson looks to upgrade its sewers

By Don Brown -

The City of Clarkson took the first steps Monday evening toward upgrading, repairing and improving its existing sewer system.

The current system was installed some 30 years ago and in that time, some of it has fallen into disrepair. Attempts to remedy the situation have been done piecemeal over the years.

“Up to now we have been nickel-and-dimeing it,” said commissioner Kay Gibson. “It’s just been applying band aids.”

To see what steps needed to be taken to begin the process, the commission invited Larry Cann to make a presentation. A former Clarkson resident, Cann now runs Cann Tech, LLC in Lawrenceburg, Ky., a group of engineers, planners and managers who deal with water and sewer systems around the state. Cann described himself as a “waste water private consultant.”

The first step for the city will be to advertise for an engineering firm. Once an engineer is chosen, he will inspect the system, noting the problems he feels need to be addressed, then issue an engineers report.

Once a report is filed, the city can do a cost estimate and can then look to how they will finance the project.

Cann assured the commissioners that there are lots of funds available, both at the state level and the federal level, through 50/50 grants and low-interest loans. Cann mentioned the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority and the federal Rural Development Program as possible sources for funding.

Gibson moved to begin the process and was seconded by Scotty Gore and the commission voted unanimously to approve the move. It will take several months to move through the process before any actual work begins.

Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center CEO, Wayne Meriwether made two presentations to the commission. The first was made in conjunction with Heidi Baldwin representing the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce and dealt with the efforts to have Grayson County designated as a “Work-Ready Community.”

Meriwether pointed out that after nearly a year, the county had met three of the six criteria necessary to receive that designation and was named a “Work-Ready Community in Progress” by the Kentucky Workforce Innovation Board.

In order to reach full compliance, Meriwether said it will take a total commitment from everyone in the county. To that end, Meriwether urged the commissioners to attend a joint meeting of the Grayson County Fiscal Court, the city councils of Caneyville and Leitchfield, the Grayson County School District, the Grayson County Industrial Foundation, the Twin Lakes Regional Medical Center and the Grayson County Chamber of Commerce.

That meeting will be held on Thursday, April 28, 2016 at the Centre on Main, in Leitchfield.

Meriwether’s second presentation dealt with the move in the county to get some kind of smoke-free ordinances in place in the county and its communities.

Meriwether presented the commissioners with a packet of information on the subject that included the results of an on-line survey conducted in November and December of last year in which an overwhelming majority (82 % to 18 %) of those responding said they would favor an ordinance restricting smoking in enclosed public places.

Meriwether said he was not asking the commissioners to vote on anything at this time. He told them he wanted to return to them after the Leitchfield City Council had made a move on the matter. It is expected the City Council will address the issue at its regularly scheduled meeting on April 21.

Mayor Bonnie Henderson opened three bids the city had received covering mowing during the summer months at its sewer plant. Bids were received from Ryan Haycraft, who did the mowing last year, from Kenny Puckett, of Sunrise Lawn Care, in Leitchfield, and from Elmore Lawn Service, from Clarkson.

Hatfield’s bid was for $200 for bi-weekly mowing, or $175 on a weekly basis. Spraying for weeds would be done on a per-job basis.

Sunrise’s bid was for $100 weekly and $25 for any spraying, with the city supplying the needed chemicals.

Elmore’s bid was for $175, including spraying, for each time he mowed.

Gibson made the motion, and it was seconded by Keith Higdon, to accept the bid from Puckett’s Sunrise Lawn Care, and the commission gave its unanimous approval.

In other business, Henderson gave the commission an update on the upcoming Easter Egg Hunt on April 26 at the Community Park, saying she has purchased some 4,000 plastic eggs, plus the candy to fill them. There was then some discussion as to who would be wearing the Easter Bunny costume and who would be a chicken.

In recognition of April 23, 2016 being the 108th anniversary of the founding of the City of Clarkson, the commissioners unanimously approved a proclamation declaring April 23 to be “Clarkson Founders’ Day.”

Henderson is wanting to be able to have two walking trails at the Community Park paved, but as the trails combined are nearly two miles long, she is hoping to be able to have the materials either donated or discounted. She told the commission she would be looking into the matter and will bring it back to them at a later time.

Gore presented the commission with a proclamation passed by the Kentucky House of Representatives in which the city of Clarkson was recognized as the “Honey Bee Capital of Kentucky.”

By Don Brown

Reach Don Brown at 270-259-9622, ext. 2016.

Reach Don Brown at 270-259-9622, ext. 2016.

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