The Paintsville City Council’s August meeting saw the city move forward with several varying infrastructure and resource needs.
In one motion, the council approved the bid of William Wade Smith, the only bidder who had offered rates on a project to repair the roof at the Haas eKentucky Advanced Manufacturing Institute. Per the city’s partnership, it is responsible for the project.
Mayor Bill Mike Runyon said the advertisement for bids requested multiple options, which Smith supplied. Several options for a spray-on solution to the roof’s
problems, ranging from covering the bolts and seams only to covering the entire roof, and with options to defer part of the payment into the next fiscal year. Those options ranged from $71,800 to $147,615.
Smith said that given the building’s construction, it is impossible to tell which of the roof’s approximately 28,000 bolts are leaking.
The council voted to award Smith the contract, with the mayor authorized to choose the solution cutting the right balance for cost effectiveness.
In another motion, the council authorized the mayor to shop for interest rates for a 2016 Ford police vehicle for the Paintsville Police Department.
With the agenda business taken care of, the meeting was opened to discussion on other topics:
• Council member Sarah Kimbler asked about the progress underway to clean up the city’s derelict properties. Runyon said the city’s had made some progress but has been stymied because enforcement efforts have been ignored and, should the city actively undertake cleanup efforts itself and seek a lien on the property’s value, it would be difficult to ever recover the money expended to do so.
• Of the flood mitigation project underway with the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Paintsville/Johnson County community development coordinator Regina Hall McClure said officials would be meeting with USACE representatives this week and would have more to announce afterwards.
• Of the Carter Lane project, Runyon said the city was still in Phase 1, or acquisition, with Phase 2 not far away. Runyon said he personally hoped to see work underway this season, because another season of winter weather could be dangerous.
• One citizen came forward to request a speedbump in the Northgate Subdivision area, as fast traffic makes it hazardous for children to play outside. Runyon said he would follow up on the project, but that often when speed control devices are installed, other homeowners in the area complain, and that it might be prudent to seek a vote from residents in the area. Council member Sara Blair requested that new speed control devices in the area be modeled after the “speed table” design, a longer, gentler form of speedbump that is less jarring for drivers and less damaging to cars while still forcing vehicles to slow down.
• Downtown business owners came forward to discuss public bathrooms downtown. Some business owners, either due to old plumbing in their buildings or personal policy, said that having public restrooms was not feasible for their businesses but they have faced backlash for turning customers away. Runyon said funding and maintaining a dedicated public restroom would be cost-prohibitive without the financial backing of the businesses themselves.
• Business owners also brought up an issue they had sought to address before: Parking on Main Street. They maintain that others who work on the street occupy street-side parking spots all day long, making it far less convenient for their customers and less conducive to business. Mayor Runyon said he would check into the issue. A search of Paintsville’s city ordinances shows ordinance 72.055 specifies the stretch of Main Street from West Street to Church Street and from East Street to Euclid Avenue as “metered” zones, though the meters have since been removed; ordinance 72.075 specifies all other zones, namely those painted with green curbs, as two-hour parking zones, giving credence to the business owners’ complaints.