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New water tower plans on hold

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Mayor says City wasn’t awarded grant because rates for water, sewer not high enough.

By James Roberts

Plans to build a new water tower are temporarily on hold.

During Campbellsville City Council's regular meeting Monday, Mayor Tony Young told Council members that the city will not receive the $1 million state Community Development Block Grant it had applied for. And the reason why left Young and a few council members upset.

"[Department for Local Government Commissioner Tony Wilder] told me we're not going to get it. He said our water rates were too low," Young said.

He said Wilder told him that communities with a combined base rate higher than $36 for water and sewer get top priority for state grants.

Campbellsville's combined base rate is $32.50.

He said he doesn't want to raise rates.

"There is absolutely no way that I am for raising the rates," he said.

Young said Wilder and Gov. Steve Beshear told him to reapply for the grant. Young said he plans to reapply.

In the meantime, work to build the new tower is on hold. This being a election year for several state offices, including the governor's office, Young hopes to hear whether the city will receive the grant by October.

Construction would likely start in the spring and will take about 16 months.

The 1-million-gallon water tank would replace towers at Wilson Heights and near Clarcor. It would be built near the site at Clarcor. The two tanks the new one would replace have a combined capacity of just over 610,500 gallons.

The new tower would be 40 feet taller, said David Bowles of Monarch Engineering, which would increase water pressure by about 15 pounds.

The two old towers were cited as being "beyond repair" by the state, according to Bowles. While the state of the towers isn't affecting water quality, Bowles said, the city must replace them.

The total project cost is $2.3 million. Initial plans called for the project to be funded by the $1 million CDBG, a $250,000 Kentucky General Assembly grant and a $1.1 million U.S. Department of Agriculture grant.

While the city will have to reapply for the CDBG, the General Assembly grant and USDA loan are available now. Bowles said that if the city doesn't get the CDBG, USDA officials have said they would loan the entire amount. Under that scenario, the city would repay the 40-year loan at approximately $9,050 a month.

Young said the city could afford the payments if the new CDBG is not awarded.

No vote was taken. Council members Patti Phillips and Terry Keltner were absent.

 

Financial reports

The City's June revenue totals $729,171.84  - lower than the $1.2 million budgeted. Year-to-date revenue totals $8.9 million and year-to-date budgeted revenue is $8.7 million.

June expenses were $944,523.13 - lower than the $1.1 million budgeted. Year-to-date expenses were $9 million. Year-to-date budgeted expenses were $8.7 million.

Young said the city's June budgeted revenue and expenses are higher than the norm because of grants, including the a grant for The Healing Place. This grant is simply a pass through.

Campbellsville Water Co.'s June revenue is $401,535.25. June budgeted revenue was $394,251.85. Year-to-date revenue is $4.8 million, slightly above the $4.7 million budgeted.

The Water Co.'s June expenses totaled $385,566.27, lower than the $408,188.82 budgeted. Year-to-date expenses are $4.9 million, slightly higher than the $4.8 million budgeted.

 

In other action:

  • The council approved moving forward with an application for a $2.2 million Economic Development Administration grant for a project to improve the capability of the Campbellsville Wastewater Treatment plant to withstand floodwaters and to add two secondary clarifiers. If the city is awarded the grant, it would be responsible for a $571,000 match.
  • The council approved second reading of an ordinance for voluntary annexation of the Kentucky Christian Academy property on New Columbia Road.
  • The Council approved several policy and procedure updates relating to discrimination and use of e-mail, Internet and social networks.
  • Streets within the Bluegrass Estates subdivision were accepted as city streets. The streets were inspected by Donald Dabney and found to meet city standards. The property has already been annexed.
  • Young asked the Street Naming Committee to look into renaming a portion of Baptist Street. There are two portions of the street, Young said, which are not connected. Young has asked that the portion of Baptist Street off of Durham Street be renamed to avoid confusion.
  • The Council had first reading of a financing plan for the purchase of property that had been previously discussed in closed session. City Attorney John Miller said the city should close on the property within a few days, at which time the location and details will be made public.
  • Team Taylor County Executive Director Ron McMahan's report included working with an existing business for a possible expansion in 2012, working with the Transportation Cabinet on the removal and replacement of a portion of the fence at Heartland Commerce and Technology Park and two meetings with a site selector representing an unknown company. McMahan also provided copies of the May unemployment rates, which shows Taylor County at 9.3 percent. The state rate is 9.5 percent, while the U.S. rate is 8.7.
  • The council declared surplus the following - 1988 Chevrolet pickup, 1996 GMC Jimmy, 1997 Dodge pickup, 1978 Jason bass boat, 1980 Skeeter bass boat, 1992 Harley-Davidson Sportster, 2003 Yamaha 150cc, 2005 Honda 600cc, 2001 Ford Crown Victoria, 2002 Crown Victoria, a Ford Ranger and a bush hog.
  • Young set a public hearing for the new water project CDBG for Monday, Aug. 8 at 5 p.m. in the City Council meeting room above Campbellsville Police Department. The hearing will be followed by a special council meeting at 5:30 p.m. The agenda includes a CDBG resolution, second reading of a financing plan for purchasing property and health insurance rates.