Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

Local News

March 28, 2012

Olive Hill water project moves forward at City Council

March 28, 2012 —     Rising water costs have left citizens of Olive Hill wondering why and if they will they come down. 

    This issue reared its head in full force during last Tuesday’s Olive Hill City Council meeting, as the council unanimously agreed to accept the lowest bids on two contracts for an agreed order on the water treatment plant.

    The first bid of $15,965 was for floating intake equipment needed for water pumps. The second bid acceptance of $552,500 pertained to the total costs of labor for the project.

    Before a vote was placed to accept bids on the project, citizens of Olive Hill expressed concern over several water-related issues, including the problem of known leaks in the Olive Hill water system pipelines.

    One question pertained to whether or not the city has enough water for emergencies.

    It is rumored that water sources were possibly cut off at one point while firefighters attempted to fight the enormous blaze at Parker’s Carpet less than one month ago. 

    Whether the water was actually cut off during the fire is unknown.

    Olive Hill Mayor Danny Sparks wanted to assure citizens that although the process has had somewhat of a slow start, repairs are coming.

    “Funding was our biggest problem in the beginning,” Sparks said. “We just didn’t have the money or the resources to get done what we needed to get done. We’ve all worked really hard to get these things taken care of, and now that we have the funding, we’re going to keep moving forward.”

     Recently, the Olive Hill Historical Society gained funding for construction costs to be applied to new renovations at the Olive Hill Education and Arts Center.

    Things began to get a little heated as councilman Jerry Callihan voiced opinions to fellow council member and President of the Olive Hill Historical Society Linda Lowe, stating that funding should of have perhaps first been gathered to fix the city’s water leaks before the renovation process of the Education and Arts Center.

    Callihan said his comments were not meant to belittle the Historical Society, but he was simply expressing frustration about where he felt funds were needed first.

    “I am all for the Historical Society, that wasn’t my issue here tonight,” Callihan said. “We received the grant after we learned of the water problems. I just felt that we maybe should have taken care of the water problems first, before we took on those renovations.”

    Following the bid acceptance on the water project, council voted to apply for a land and water conservation grant to perform maintenance and remodeling of the Olive Hill City Pool. 

    The project is to cost $150,000 and funds will be distributed as a 50/50 grant, meaning the state will pay 50 percent of the costs, while the city pays the other 50 percent. The half to be paid by the city is set to be in-kind services, with workers and machinery of the city offsetting any labors costs.

    Next, the council voted to pay back $40,000 worth of costs for owed renovation costs to the old Olive Hill High School. 

    Carter County Library Director Nellie Jordan also requested a $500 per quarter increase in funding, as she provided an update on the Carter County Library. The council then proceeded to wrap up the meeting with updates from the fire department, a police report, and a treasurer report.

    The next Olive Hill City Council Meeting will take place on April 24.

    Grant Stevens can be reached at or by telephone at 1-800-247-6142.

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