Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

December 18, 2013

Olive Hill Council talks flooding, attorney

By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer

Dec. 18, 2013 — Olive Hill City Council met in special session last Tuesday to discuss more preliminary results from the hydrological study of Tygart’s Creek and to discuss the vacant city attorney position.

Jonathan Keeling, project manager for Stantec, who was in charge of the study, was on hand to present the additional findings.

The firm studied the potential benefits of carving an overflow channel through the area known as “Devil’s Backbone” where the flow of Tygart’s Creek intersects with a stream flowing from the Ben’s Run area.

According to Keeling, carving the channel could cost the city as much as $9.6 million and would prevent up to 28 structures from being flooded.

Other options presented to the City Council in a public meeting earlier this year that carried price tags ranging from $768,000 to $31.2 million.

Another element of Stantec’s study measured the approximate amount of sediment deposited on a yearly basis in the creek.

A rough estimate from the survey reveals that approximately 7,000 cubic feet of sediment was deposited in the surveyed areas of the creek in the past year.

“We suggest you come back next year and have an engineer look at the survey points we set up. You’ll get a more accurate figure because there were only a few data points that overlapped with what we had previously surveyed,” said Keeling.

Discussion then turned to the city attorney position, which has remained vacant since George Hogg resigned in late October.

Former Commonwealth’s Attorney Gary Conn had originally been tapped to fill the position but various issues of procedure and second thoughts from City Council members have prevented that appointment from happening.

After lengthy discussion, Council decided that the position will function as a independent contractor, who must pass a criminal background check and drug screen before being hired.

Council then stated it would reach a final decision about who will fill the position at the next regular meeting.

Joe Lewis can be reached at or by telephone at 286-4201.