Danville helps Hazard with utility needs after flooding, City Commission chooses deicing salt vendor

Published 3:07 pm Wednesday, September 21, 2022


fiona@amnews.com, lance.gaither@bluegrassnewsmedia.com

The City of Danville Utilities Department has been helping the City of Hazard with water and sewer needs after the major flooding in Eastern Kentucky on July 28. Utilities Director Marshall Carrier made a presentation about how they’ve helped at the city commission meeting on Monday.

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Being near a river, much of Hazard was damaged by flooding, including water treatment plants and pump stations. Carrier explained that workers from other cities like Louisville and Owensboro did much of the installation of new infrastructure, but Danville was able to help in an administrative assistance role.

Carrier and his crew started by seeing Hazard’s current inventory, how many pump stations and water tanks they have, and their workforce availability. He said Hazard didn’t have access to plans that listed all their water plants and pump stations, and Danville was able to contact a local design company who provided copies of their records.

Carrier said at least six or seven pump stations were complete failures when they arrived. In their water treatment plant, he said there was about 10 feet of sludge in the basin where they gather water from the river to be treated. Generally, Danville’s plant usually has about three feet of sludge.

He explained that Danville has nine water tanks and 13 sewer pump stations; and Hazard, which serves less people, has 31 water tanks and 26 pump stations, due to the topography of the mountainous region.

Andy Tompkins, Danville water treatment plant superintendent, put together a standard operating procedure for a water treatment plant to help Hazard understand their system better and get the sludge out of their plant. Danville also sent an electrician and a technician to help with their pump station issues.

Other ways Danville helped was to lend Hazard a drone to get footage of wreckage to help build a case with FEMA; they provided sludge disposal standard operating procedures, contacts for sludge disposal and manufacturers, radios for communication since cell service was very spotty, both hard and digital copies of plans for water and sewer pumps, and preventative maintenance procedures.

In other news, the Danville commission agreed to apply for a Safe Streets for All grant from the Federal Highway Administration. The grant would provide $200,000 of funding with the city matching $40,000. If approved, the city will use the funds to create a safe action plan to improve safety on Danville’s roadways, according to the commission. The plan was created by studying data from traffic accidents and fatalities that have occurred on Danville roadways.

Morgan described the plan as proactive, rather than reactive. At intersections where a fatality has occurred, the city will study what makes that intersection high risk, and then identifying other intersections with similar characteristics. Once the plan is created, the city will then use it to apply for further grants to make the identified intersections safer.

A household name was declared the winner of the City of Danville’s deicing salt bid. The winning bid was from Morton Salt at the price of $104.75 per ton. City Engineer Josh Morgan said that although this bid was higher than in previous years, the price increase was expected and still came in lower than other bids, including some that were as high as $120 per ton. He said the city will need to be more mindful of its use of salt in winter to manage costs.

In other business, the commission:

• Solidified a previous agreement that allows Boyle County Schools to use the Jennie Rogers Community Center for childcare services. City Attorney Stephen Dexter explained that although these agreements are already in place, they are what he described as “handshake agreements,” and that the purpose of these written agreements are to avoid confusion in case of changing city leadership, or changes with school staff.

He went on to say that these will also be used to clarify any liability issues and will ensure fairness among all school districts. The first public reading of this agreement is expected to be at the next regular commission meeting.

• Passed the first reading of ordinance 2000 changing the zoning at 0 East Main Street from RM2 (two-family residential) to RM3 (multi-family residential). This 10-acre plot at the end of East Main will be used for single-level senior housing units.

• Passed the first reading of ordinance 2001 changing the zoning for about three acres at 1695 Lancaster Road from agriculture to light industrial. This piece of land on the larger Luca Mariano Distillery property will be used to build the distillery.

• Passed the second reading of ordinance 1999 amending the compensation plan and policies and procedures for city personnel.

• Approved a memorandum of understanding between Danville and the Rotary Club. The club is applying for a grant to help the city construct a shelter pavilion at Michael Smith Park, and the MOU states that if they get the grant, the city will use the money to build the shelter.