One week remains for Lancaster water survey

September 09, 2003|PHIL PENDLETON

LANCASTER - The clock is ticking on the city's efforts to get enough surveys of citizens' income in order to get a grant to help fund a major water line improvement project.

Lancaster needs 400 completed surveys returned for it to show that 51 percent of city residents are of low to moderate income to be eligible for the Community Development Block Grant.

Councilwoman Donna Powell gave the City Council a progress report on the survey effort Monday night. "We do have approximately 250 to 275 complete. Several were filled out incorrectly," she said. All of the surveys must be collected by the end of this week.

Powell said council members and other volunteers still have households to visit in order to reach the 400 magic number. "I feel like it's a very do-able project," she said. But she said she needs help. "I'm crying for help."


Don Hassall with the Bluegrass Area Development District said the cost of the project, which will result in a myriad of new lines in the oldest parts of Lancaster, has increased to $1.19 million, up from $1.13 million. He said a block grant would cover $595,000, the city already has received a $100,000 grant, and a Rural Development loan and grant could feasibly kick in another $222,000.

"That leaves a balance to be borrowed of $273,000," he said.

Once the city receives all of the surveys back and other prerequisites are met, it will submit a project plan to the Kentucky Division of Water. "If all the i's are dotted and the t's crossed, we can get it back from the Division of Water in 14 days," Hassall said.

The committee approving the grant applications will meet at the end of September, and Hassall encouraged the city to try to get its project plans in by that time. Final approval of grant money comes by Gov. Patton, who leaves office Dec. 9. "And I don't think he's going to be approving grants on Dec. 8," said Hassall.

Other business

In other business Monday, the council:

* Approved $11,629 for weapons, targets, bullets, ankle sleeves, retention holsters, and a indoor firing range for the police department. Officer David Shepherd said the city will receive a $2,275 credit for equipment to be traded in. If officers wants to buy weapons, it will cost them $325, Shepherd said. He said the foundation has been laid for the new range house. Shepherd said there is money in the police department's budget to cover the expenses.

* Approved Police Chief Wanda Shelton's request to purchase three used cruisers from a dealer in Ohio for $32,000 and to spend $12,221 to equip the city's fleet with radios, striping and light bars. Shelton said the cruisers include a 2001 and two 1998 Ford Crown Victorias. Two of the cars have 57,000 miles on them, one has 60,000.

* Heard from Director of Emergency Management Dwayne Nave, who told the council that he is updating the emergency operations plan. He said weapons of mass destruction grant money is available and that Garrard County had been earmarked for $7,000. He told the council that he attended a class on dealing with methamphetamine labs, and said that state police are no longer handling the cleaning up of those labs. Fire Chief Kenny Adams said he believes that "ATF will pick up the slack."

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