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Bloomfield City Council briefs from Sept. 11

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By Dennis George

A pair of public works projects in Bloomfield could be directly impacted by the havoc caused by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

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One of those projects — extending water lines to residents on Hagan Lane — was scheduled to start soon but Public Works Director Ricky Jewell told the city council Monday night that there is a shortage of PVC pipe stemming from the two natural disasters.

He said the pipe is in short supply and prices have doubled and tripled since the council agreed to the water project at its August meeting.

“Since we did not order the pipe before the hurricanes, the companies would not honor the price they quoted,” Jewell said. “They’ve told us to wait a month or two and the prices should come back down.”

The city had expected to pay $6,900 for 1,850 feet of pipe for the work.

Tony Harover of Bell Engineering told the council that the state may delay requesting bids for the U.S. 62 relocation project because of the increase in pipe pricing.

He said the state was scheduled to put the project out for bid this fall with the work to be done next year.

Water and sewer lines will need to be moved as the state takes out the S curves between the intersection of the Bardstown/Springfield entries into Bloomfield and the downtown area.

Jewell also asked the council for approval to finish the rehabilitation of sewer lines in the city.

Due to problems in the lines, a large amount of rainwater is entering the sewer lines.

“Normally, we have 90,000 gallons a day go through the lines, but consumption has gone up to 300,000 due to the leaks,” he said. “A normal bill for the city might be $4,000 but with that much extra going through, it can cost us $14,000 or more. If we have a wet winter or spring, you can save enough money to pay for the project.”

The council agreed to spend the $40,000 to finish the lining of the pipes. Those funds were budgeted for this fiscal year.

Jewell said the work should be done before the spring rainy season.

Oral Histories being recorded

Councilwomen Ann Martin and Janet Graves have started interviewing local residents to create archives of the history of the community.

“We want to talk to as many people as possible so people of future generations can learn about Bloomfield,” Graves said.

Martin said three interviews have taken place already, and with the assistance of Tim Ballard, she said they want to do as many as possible as the city prepares for its bicentennial in 2019.

Persons with a story to tell about the community are asked to contact city hall or email Martin at citystoriesproject@gmail.com.

“Only 20 cities in Kentucky were selected to be a part of this project and Bloomfield is one of them,” Martin said. “It’s known as the Louie B. Nunn Oral History.”

Pension resolution passes

The council also passed a resolution asking the state to allow Bloomfield and other local municipalities to withdraw from the beleaguered County Employees Retirement System (CERS).

The resolution noted that Kentucky Retirement System is among the worst funded in the country and to allow CERS to separate from it would protect their employees.

For many years, these local governments have made full payments for their employees into the retirement system but state legislators have not made their full contributions in any year since the turn of the century.

The Lexington Herald-Leader recently reported that State Budget Director John Chilton warned local governments their contributions may increase by as much as 60 percent next year.

This resolution is being circulated statewide. The City of Bardstown approved it at a recent meeting. Nelson Fiscal Court and the City of New Haven are expected to vote on the matter at future meetings.

In other news:

• The city held a second reading of the ordinance that sets the tax rates for fiscal year 2017-2018.

Residents will pay 32.8 cents per $100 of real property and 30.8 cents per $100 of personal property.

• Cub Scout Troop 99 will be picking up trash along the roadways in the Bloomfield area as part of the Fall Litter Abatement campaign.

“We have money for two more areas if anyone is interested,” City Clerk Jean Jury said.

Groups can make $140 for participating in the program.

The money is part of the municipal aid fund the state gives to the city.