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Columbia City Council meeting Monday, March 7, 2011
Click on headline for story plus photo(s)
By Ed Waggener
In last night's Columbia City Council meeting, the council unanimously adopted a vision proposed by Heather Spoon to make Columbia, Kentucky, at model in efficient, sustainable energy use for rural America.
The vote followed a presentation by the charismatic director of Lindsey Wilson College's Energy Technology Academy (ECTA), which included some blockbuster ideas and revelations.
Among the revelations, one stood out, that Lindsey Wilson is now funding the ECTA after receiving major grants from the Siemens Corporation to start the only rural energy technology career academy in America, and that Lindsey Wilson is developing an Associated Degree in energy technology to be announced in the near future.
Spoon told the Council that her group is now in the process of gathering data to show where the community is - and developing goals based on that data to show where the community will be going.
She said the local ECTA, with students in Adair and Russell Counties, is now developing methods for solar panel fabrication, for producing biodiesel fuels, and is currently using an Anemometer, code named "Windy," to measure average winds to see if wind power is a viable source of sustainable energy in the county.
Spoon told the group that the ECTA has already produced biodiesel fuels, and that a 40 gallon production device is on its way to the academy and that the group has funds to buy an 80 gallon biodiesel production unit.
She said that fuels, based on getting free used cooking oils from local restaurants, will cost an estimated $1-1.50 per gallon, far less than the cost of gasoline .
Spoon said that, inheriting her father's entrepreneurial spirit, she always hopes to see the ECTA's test work grow into jobs for Adair County. She said she would hope that solar panel production, wind farms, and biodiesel experiments might seed the idea for local startups, with accompanying jobs development.
She had suggested that the city might use biodiesel fuel in the solid waste packers, but that Mayor Harris said he'd rather not experiment on the expensive trucks. "So, I guess my fall back is to test it in one of my father's trucks."
The plan was adopted 6-0 on a motion by Councillor Tony Grider, seconded by Councillor Craig Dean.
To keep up with the activities of the Energy Technology Career Academy, Heather Spoon urged council members and the public to visit the ECTA website. Click to Lindsey Wilson College Energy Career Technology Academy.
Lenny Stone reports Columbia/Adair Utilities plans for Jones ST, High School area
The Council heard a report from Columbia-Adair Utilities (CAUD), which included the utility's immediate plans to replace water lines on Jones ST, the residential block between Greensburg ST at the Adair County Public Library and Merchant Streets
The work to replace the water lines on Jones Street, is part of Phase I of the merged utility's plans for an overhaul which will cost, over up to a ten year period, an estimated $8-10 million.
Stone said that the utility will also be replacing meters and lines on the Greensburg Street side of the Adair County School District campus.
Work upgrading the system will be in phases, as money becomes available. Phase II will include the Jones Wright Addition and Long Hunters.
Stone told the council that completion of the final details of the merger had been slowed a bit by a two-month illness suffered by Attorney Damon Talley, but that Talley is back on the job and that the Columbia/Adair project is his top priority. Stone is now projecting the completion of final paperwork in the merger to take place around September 30, 2011.
Stone said that overall, he could not have asked for the merger to have gone more smoothly. He said that the integration of the two staffs had gone well.
He was especially happy with the rebuilding of the Columbia Sewer plant after floods on May 2, 2010, caused major damage. "Bo Murphy is simply irreplaceable," he said. "He does a fantastic job. Stone said that the sewer plant is now as good as and better than it was before the natural disaster. "We only need a Bobcat, but the money for it has now been paid by the insurance company, and we have that on order."
Stone said that he will be working with the Columbia Street Department and Gas Department, and first responders to make the reconstruction of the water system cause as little disruption as possible. Still, he warned, citizens will have to endure periods of big messes as the new water lines are installed.
He said that each time a water line is replaced, the utility will lay a "yellow line" of temporary waterlines for redundancy to make sure that residents experience no outages or as little outages as possible.Stone said that metering in the city is being upgraded, including a new metering system for the Columbia-Adair County Fire Department.
Use of grant money to buy Christian Life Center approved
Mayor Harris reported to the council that approval had been received use grant money toward the purchase of the Columbia Baptist Church Christian Life Center, 901 Hudson ST, Columbia, KY. Negotiations on terms for the purchase have been completed but have not yet been announced. Mayor Harris said that a stipulation is that a portion of the grant money be used to renovate part of the existing structure on the property for a Senior Citizens Center. The balance of the property will be developed by the Columbia/Adair Parks and Recreation Board as the nucleus of a developing Columbia/Adair Parks system.
Ninth member of Columbia/Adair Parks & Recreation Board Announced.
On the recommendation of the eight members of the Columbia/Adair Parks & Recreation Board, the ninth member was recommended by Mayor Harris and was unanimously approved by the council. Thomas Steele will join the board, which, according to the Council's representative on the board, Craig Dean, has chosen the second Monday of each month, at 5pmCT, for its regular meetings, which will be held in the Adair 911 Center, 107 N. High ST, Columbia, KY.
Second readings unanimously approved
City Attorney Marshall Loy gave second readings to five ordinances, all of which were approved unanimously, including:
Mayor Harris said that a representative of the Kentucky Highway Department, Tammy Wilson, will be in Columbia soon to analyze signs needed at Dillon and Greensburg Street pointing to the Adair County School District Campus. Because of flaws in some internet mapping systems, semi trucks have been following a bogus route to the campus, taking Dillon to Page Street, and finding themselves at a dead end at the Page Street water tower.
Mayor Harris said that Ms. Wilson will be bring information on the process for getting corrections on the big internet mapping systems - including special phone numbers used by municipalities and other government entities to expedite corrections.
Plans on the Well Walk reconstruction is almost complete
Mayor Harris reported that engineer Greg Eastham is just a few days away from having plans for the reconstruction of the historically named "Well Walk" off the Square, the walk which houses Best Buys, Farmland Publications, and the Dr. Janella Brown dental practice. "The work is long overdue," Mayor Harris said. We should have it underway soon.
Council votes to bid auditor services
On the recommendation of Councillor Robert Flowers, the council unanimously voted to advertise for bids for auditing services. Flowers said that the work of the present auditor, is "Entirely unacceptable." He said that the City still does not have even a preliminary picture of its financial situation as of the end of the 2009-2010 Fiscal Year, which ended June 30, 2010. With a second from June Parson, the vote to look for a new firm was 6-0.
Councillor Dean commends Academic Team
In the Councillor comment segment of the meeting, Councillor Craig Dean commended the Adair County High School Academic Team on winning the regional competition for a 7th year in a row. Tony Grider commended the council for its decision on the adoption of the energy model city award, Councillor Jim Hadley thanked the public for its participation, and Councillor June Parson asked for reports to the council on activities of the Code Enforcement Officer.
Josh Brockman resigns, Johnny Dial hired
Officer Junior Murphy representing the Columbia Police Department, announced the resignation of Officer Josh Brockman and his replacement with Officer Johnny Dial on the Columbia Police force. Officer Brockman will be missed, he said, and Mayor Harris concurred. Brockman is now a vehicle enforcement office with that arm of the Kentucky State Police.
Robert Flowers getting better at carrying on Joe Moore tradition
Freshman Councillor Robert Flowers, assuming the mantle of former Councillor Joe Moore, said at 7:02pmCT, one hour and two minutes after the meeting was called to order, "In honor of Joe Moore, I move we adjourn."
Many concurred that this was his best effort to date, and that he is beginning to get the hang of it.
Meeting well attended
The meeting was well attended. Mayor Harris, and all members of the City Council, Craig Dean, Linda Waggener, Robert Flowers, Tony Grider, Jim Hadley, and June Parson; City Attorney Marshall Loy, City Clerk Sonya Roy, City Gas Department Superintendent Ron Cook, City Planning & Zoning Commissioner Roy Rademacher, City Police Officer Jr. Murphy, City Deputy Clerk Jada Coomer, Columbia/Adair Utilities General Manager Lenny Stone, Energy Technology Career Academy Director Heather Spoon, Kassidy and Riley Roy, and members of the media were present.
End of report, City Council Meeting, Monday, March 7, 2011
About your Columbia City Council
The Columbia City Council meets each first Monday in the Council Meeting Room, City Hall, 115 Campbellsville ST, Columbia, KY.The meetings are open to the public. Mayor Mark D. Harris. Councillors Craig Dean, June Parson, Linda Waggener, Robert Flowers, Jim Hadley, Tony Grider. City Clerk Sonya Roy. City Attorney Marshall Loy. Assistant City Clerk Sonya Roy. City Police Chief Jason Cross. City Gas Department Superintendent Ronald Cook. City Sanitation Department Superintendent Kenneth Dulin. City Street Department Superintendent Donnie Rowe. City Events Planner Rhonda Loy.
This story was posted on 2011-03-08 06:08:10
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