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City Of Burgin Seeks To Economize

City Holds Off On Some Projects, Proceeds With Others

(Stock image: the Harrodsburg Herald)

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

Mayor Joe Monroe informed the Burgin City Council that the city is tightening their belt. At the city council’s regular meeting on Tuesday, April 11, Monroe said the city went $31,000 in the hole for the most recent month, including $8,000 spent on pipes for a new division.

“We’ll get that money back eventually, but not all at once,” the mayor said.

Monroe said prices for repairing water leaks have tripled over last six months. As a result, the city is going to hold off on some projects, such as buying a truck and paving streets so they can build up funds. “We’re going to wait,” Monroe said. He said Burgin’s holding off for two months until they’ve got more money. He said telemetry for the water tank and other previously approved projects are still moving forward.

The mayor said the telemetry project should be finished by this week. The project is crucial because Monroe said it was hard to figure out the water loss. Some of that water is lost during system flushes, which become necessary due to low chlorine levels. Chlorine, which is used as a disinfectant, is not water soluble, and often escapes from pipes, especially during warm weather and in parts of the system with low flow.

One other project the city council voted to proceed with was paying Cemsites $7,200 to map out Burgin’s cemetery. The system will allow people to find graves online and will help funeral homes digging graves. City officials said it would be a tremendous improvement over Burgin’s current system: a 20 year old notebook with post-it notes.

Commissioner Doug Rulon said he had spoken with a representative from Cemsites and clarified some issues that led the commision to table the purchase at their last meeting. Company marks all the graves and confirms where everything is. The information would be available online on and everything would be cross-referenced.

Rulon said there is a subscription fee of $1200 a year, but the city could keep the information and software. He said it would save the city on labor. “It’s a lot but it’s going to carry us for years and years and years,” Rulon said. He called it “a great way to start fresh with the cemetery.”

The city will make the purchase using general funds, then reimburse themselves from the perpetual care trust when it’s abolished. The council voted to abolish the perpetual care trust last month. However, the perpetual care fund will remain. The fund will not go below $25,000. Monroe said Burgin has applied for a grant to build a shelter at the cemetery.

In addition, Monroe said they have not received any information about money for flooding. The mayor said congressional representatives were supposed to arrive in March, but never made an appearance. Monroe said they received letter from state pledging funds to make up the difference.
The city council also held off on taking any further moves on a water project. The mayor said they still working on bid. Last month, the council rejected bids the city had received for the railroad project and to rebid the project. Mayor Monroe said they needed to change the bid specifications and put it our for bid again.

“We’re going to remove some stuff and rebid it,” said Monroe, who said there are three projects listed on the bid. They are reducing the project to just the bore under the railroad. Last week, the mayor said he hopes money builds up so they can move forward with some projects.

The city council discussed their financial options, from partnering with Harrodsburg or another large municipal provider to buying in bulk for the best prices. Monroe said they are working with the Lake Village Water Association, who helps them get decent prices on supplies. The mayor said he had staff working on applying for every grant they can.

Monroe also informed the council that the City of Harrodsburg was fixing to raise their water rates folks.

“We’re going to have to pay, as a city, more for water,” the mayor said. He said Harrodsburg hasn’t officially informed them of the rate change yet.

“I’m hoping they hold off,” Monroe said.

Monroe said he’s also received reports Chief Scott Elder of the Burgin Police Department is not out on patrol. The mayor said he’s followed Elder around while on duty. When the chief parks his patrol car on one side of town, Monroe said the speeders moved around to the other side of town.

“It is not kids, folks, it’s grown adults—-people in their 50s and 60s,” he said. Monroe aid he would like to hire another police officer, but the city doesn’t have the money.

“We’ve got to figure out some ways to bring in some revenue to the city,” Monroe said, including pursuing grants.

For the rest of the story, check out this week’s issue of the Harrodsburg Herald. Click here to subscribe.

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