By Joe Lewis - Staff Writer
Feb. 27, 2013 — Olive Hill City Council met last Tuesday to discuss ongoing construction projects and to amend the city's budget to appropriate more funds to the police and fire departments.
Bryan Kirby of Community & Economic Development Associates (CEDA) was on hand to give project updates for the Biggs Hill water project and the Blueberry Ridge sewer project, both of which are funded by federal grants administered by Kirby’s office.
The Council voted last month to allot the remaining contingency funds from the Biggs Hill project for construction of a new water line to serve residents living in the Bailey Hollow area.
Kirby updated the Council on that project, stating that Beauty Ridge Contractors plans to run 2,700 feet of four-inch line to Bailey Hollow.
Construction on that line is set to begin closer to spring when the ground is easier to work.
Council then amended the city's budget to appropriate more than $52,000 in funds to the police department to help offset mounting expenses that otherwise would send the department over its allotted budget for the year.
“I'm not even sure this will cover everything,” the mayor said in a follow-up interview about the situation.
“We're to the point now where I have to consider asking them to park the cruisers. With gas at $4 a gallon, it gets to be very expensive,” he added.
Council also appropriated $7,800 more to the fire department to cover substantial repairs of one of the fire engines.
Assistant Fire Chief Jeremy “Spanky” Rodgers said the engine fell into disrepair because repeated cuts to the department's budget in recent years were so devastating that they could not afford to have regular maintenance performed on the trucks.
“We've tried to bring this to your attention in the past but the former mayor kept cutting us off before it ever could be presented to the Council,” Rodgers said in his public comments.
Funding for engine repairs will come from the recreation budget which means that deciding to keep the city pool open this year would put recreation into a budget deficit.
The next regular meeting of the Olive Hill City Council is scheduled at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, March 19, at the Senior Center.
Joe Lewis can be reached at email@example.com or by telephone at 286-4201.