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Burgin To Receive State Flooding Funds

File image from 2018: Margie Brothers stands in front of her flooded property. Brothers has been praised for advocating for flooding relief for the city by federal, state and local officials.

Robert Moore
Herald Staff

The City of Burgin has learned they will receive $319,000 in state funding to alleviate flooding along Water Street. Mayor Joe Monroe made the announcement at the Burgin City Council’s meeting on Tuesday, Aug. 8. The state funding. Along with a $562,000 earmark grant from the federal government, will be used to install two 30 inch pipes at least 150 feet under the city as well as pumps to control flood waters. It has been estimated the project will cost more than a million dollars.

While the federal funding was announced earlier this year, Mayor Monroe said they have still not received it.

“They told us not to expect the money before September,” he said.

One thing holding up the federal funding was a cost analysis. Monroe said that had been completed.
The mayor thanked Burgin resident Margie Brothers for raising “all kinds of Cain” and getting the funding approved. The city has named July 31 Margie Brothers Day “For all the hard work she’s done,” Monroe said.

He also gave the city council an update on the project to bore under the railroad. Monroe said he had met with engineers and contractors on the project, but they had run into a problem with the railroad. The project will not start until middle of August, he said.

The council voted to take a loan to cover the cost of the project. The mayor explained the city would have to pay the contractors every month. While the city would be reimbursed by the state within 14 days of receiving copies of the check and invoice, it could take up to three weeks for Burgin to get the funds. He said Bluegrass Area Development District had recommended taking out a loan to help the city to avoid dipping into the general fund.

“It’s a very, very super low interest rate,” Monroe said.

Monroe also asked for the council’s help in making sure the city makes the best use of the $25,000 set aside for paving Burgin’s streets.

Councilman Jamie Keebortz recommended going around and finding problem areas first. Monroe said they were holding off on certain streets because of Burgin’s flooding issues.

“There’s no point in paving them if we’re going to catch a flood and wipe them out,” the mayor said.
In other business, the Burgin City Council voted to take bids to demolish the White House on Main Street. Monroe said the city’s insurance is asking them to do something with the house, which some community members have claimed is a historical landmark. City officials say they cannot find any historical significance to the house, which they say is in bad shape.

“We can’t find any,” Monroe said. He invited the council to see for themselves.

“Half the foundation is gone,” Monroe said. Because of that, he said the windows have shifted.

“I voted three times in the past to tear the thing down,” Monroe said. “We’ve dealt with this three times and it’s been tabled three times.”

He said the city’s insurance had “put their foot down” and the house needed to be dealt with.

When Councilman Ethan Hopkins asked what they could do with the lot, Monroe said: “Whatever we want.”

“I say get rid of it,” said Councilman Jamie Keebortz.

While the mayor said he could get the house knocked down for less than state minimum for bids, Councilwoman Melinda Wofford moved to get bids first. Hopkins and Councilman Sindicat “Sid” Dunn voted no, but the motion still passed.

“I voted no,” Dunn said. “Please make sure to put that in the paper.”

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

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