Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

December 28, 2012

Olive Hill tackles water issues

New treatment facility project discussed

OLIVE HILL — Olive Hill City Council met last week to discuss ongoing infrastructure repair projects for the city’s water system.

Civil engineer Paul Amburgey designed the layout for the city’s new water treatment facility. He was on hand at the meeting to give a project update and answer questions.

Council member Jerry Callihan, who works for Rattlesnake Ridge Water District, raised issues with the design of the treatment plant, particularly problems with the backwash lagoons.

According to Callihan, sediment needs adequate time to settle in the lagoon, which then requires about three weeks to dry completely before excavation equipment can be brought in to remove the sediment and haul it to the city landfill.

Under Amburgey’s plan, the lagoons would only be allotted three days to dry out before being used again.

“The plan was approved by the Kentucky Division of Water,” Amburgey said in response to Callihan’s criticism. He then offered to meet with Callihan at the construction site to answer further questions.

“I’ll meet you there at 8 a.m. tomorrow,” Callihan replied.

According to Callihan, Amburgey did show up for the meeting but was hesitant to answer specific questions about the lagoons or the two holding tanks.

Callihan claims that each tank, which holds about 44,000 gallons, is about 80,000 gallons smaller than what the city actually needs.

“That’s a pretty serious error to me. When he fixes the problems, I’ll pay him, but not until then,” Callihan added.

In addition to water system issues, Mayor Kenny Fankell took time to candidly speak about communication problems that he feels existed under the previous administration.

“I learned more in six days at City Hall than I had learned in 12 years sitting on this Council,” the new mayor said.

Other members of the Council echoed that sentiment, with Callihan saying, “We’ve probably had arguments we shouldn’t have had because the former mayor kept us in the dark.”

Fankell also alluded to several projects he has in the works that could bring more jobs to Olive Hill but was unable to provide any specific details as those arrangements have yet to be finalized.

“I can’t talk about it all yet but I can assure you that good things are about to happen,” said Fankell.

The next regular meeting of Olive Hill City Council is scheduled at 6 p.m. Jan. 15, at the senior center.

JOE LEWIS writes for The Journal-Times in Grayson. He can be reached at jlewis@journal-times.com or by telephone at 286-4201.

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