During a meeting of the Evarts City Council on Tuesday, Mayor Eddie Manning raised the issue of Evarts being declared a Trail Town community. He said in order to receive that designation, the city will have to accept the liability of KY 2430, also known as Bailey’s Creek Road. After a lengthy discussion and an unanimous vote by council members, the city decided not to take on this additional liability.
“As you all know, we have no legal way to get to the park (Black Mountain Off-Road Adventure Area) on a city road,” said Manning. “What the state tourism is asking us to do is to take possession of the Bailey’s Creek Road and accept the liability. They will still be responsible for maintenance of it. We would have to be responsible for policing the road and accept all liability if an accident occurred on the roadway. I think this would be putting an extra burden on the city. We would not get anything out of this other than being named a Trail Town. We’d get no taxes or anything else. It’s not fair to our citizens to place this liability on them.”
City Attorney Otis Doan said the city would not be annexing the roadway and property into the city. He said it would only be taking possession of the roadway and accepting liability of what happens on that roadway.
“I’d love to get the additional exposure and have our city named a Trail Town, but I feel like if the state’s going to push the Trail Town issue why push all the liability back on us,” said Manning. “Maybe we can go another route. Maybe the county will take possession of this roadway or work on finding another route for us.”
In another discussion, City Clerk Kristi Lamb told council members water bills being sent out this month will be higher than usual because customers are being billed for 35 days instead of the normal 30-31 days due to equipment being down.
In other council action:
* Noted Harlan County Community Action Agency donated a used swing set and jungle gym playground equipment to the city for their new walking track park. Also noted Harlan County Solid Waste Supervisor Lakis Mavinidis agreed to donate mulch to be placed with the new equipment;
* Voted to cancel their contract with Kenvirons since the water leaks are now under control;
* After a lengthy discussion, tabled issue of amending the city’s water ordinance in regard to cut-off payments until council can study the ordinance and come up with new suggestions at their next meeting;
* Agreed to allow fire department to wash streets in the city once a month;
* Voted to purchase an additional handheld meter reader and wan for approximately $2,000, with funds from the water department, to help city employees read water meters more quickly and have a spare one on hand in case one tears up;
* Noted Evarts Fire Department will hold a road block in the near future to help raise funds for their annual Christmas treats for the kids event. Anyone wishing to donate money or toys to this fund may do so by contacting fire chief Cledo Powers;
* A list of homeowners in the city was provided to council members showing who has paid their property taxes and who hasn’t. A total of $5,829.67 has been paid thus far and $21,860.86 has not been paid. Some of the tax bills date back as far as 2003;
* Noted Harlan County Outdoor Recreation Board donated a train car to be placed near the city’s coal monument.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at email@example.com