Addressing the recent earthquake felt in Harlan County, Loyall Mayor Clarence Longworth told members of the city council, during their monthly meeting on Monday, the sewer and water plants were checked for cracks and none were found. He said city employees will continue to monitor these buildings and others to make sure city buildings continue to be safe.
“As everyone knows we had an earthquake this past Saturday which registered 4.3 magnitude,” said fire Chief Vern Guffy. “Mark (Duff) and I have checked the sewer plant for cracks. We have talked with emergency management here in Harlan County about some earthquake training, teaching us what to look for after a quake. None of us really have any search and rescue training in the event of a major earthquake. However, no one needs to worry, because if something bad happens we’re going to be there no matter what.”
Longworth told council the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers have agreed to replace the bridge on Wilkerson Street. He said the old concrete bridge was built in approximately 1938.
“The bridge crosses the lagoon and it’s now back on the schedule to be replaced,” said Longworth. “It began as a culvert project and has now been changed to a bridge. I talked to the transportation people in Manchester and Leo Miller this past week and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is supposed to contact us sometime in the near future about relocating utilities. They seem to think actual construction will begin sometime this coming spring. There’s no river under the bridge anymore, it’s just a ponding area.”
Guffy told council fire equipment he has for the Loyall Fire Department will become outdated and unusable by the end of 2013.
“According to fire codes, equipment over 10 years old can’t be worn into a structure to battle a fire,” said Guffy. “They’re not even allowed to use this equipment in fire training. Even though the equipment may look brand new, it still can’t be used safely. You’re putting the firefighters’ lives on the line and, if they’re injured, we’d be liable. I’m starting to look for grants to help finance the purchase of new equipment for our department.”
Duff, the water/sewer plant supervisor, reported repairs are being made at the sewer plant such as painting hand rails to prevent rust. He noted in the near future an aeration system for the sewer plant will need to be replaced.
“One of the things that is going to have to be replaced is the aeration system in our holding tank at the sewer plant,” said Duff. “Basically, what that system does is aerates the sludge. When the sludge goes into the holding tank if the system isn’t working it will sit and sit, begin to stink and get thick — making it hard to pump out. With a good aeration system it will mix water and sludge together and keep it thin and easier to pump out. It will cost us less money over the long run because we will not have to have it pumped out so often. I think we need to look at getting a new aeration system by the first of the year.”
Duff said the cost for a new aeration system is approximately $8,000. He said each time they have the holding tank pumped it costs approximately $3,400.
“The aeration system in there now was put in in 1963,” said Longworth. “Over the years it has just deteriorated until there is just nothing there. It’s something we’re going to have to get done. It’s not much to some, but a lot to us because we’re a small plant. It will cut down on the expense of pumping so often. We normally have it pumped about twice a year.”
In other action, council:
* Approved second reading of the city’s holiday ordinance;
* Noted another piece of playground equipment will be placed on the city park after receiving more donations;
* Asked residents to clean up animal feces when walking their pets.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or at email@example.com