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Bardstown City Council bids farewell to two of its own, plans future projects

Councilman John Kelley, right, expresses his appreciation to the council members he served with the past two years. He and Councilwoman Kecia Copeland, center, will end their service on the council. Council-elect Betty Kelley Hart and Frankie Hibbs will be sworn-in at a special council meeting on Dec. 27th.

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018 — The Bardstown City Council held its final regular meeting of 2018, and the final regular meeting for two of its members — Councilwoman Kecia Copeland and Councilman John Kelley.

Eric Richter discusses the bids the city received for its 4 kilovolt-to-12 kilovolt electric utility upgrade project.

Kelley took time before the meeting ended to thank the city’s voters for giving him the opportunity to serve the city the past two years. He also thanked Mayor Dick Heaton and other members of the council for the work they had accomplished together. With two new council members ready to come on board, Kelley said the city was in good hands.

Heaton thanked the council members for their service to the community and willingness to take on the role.

4KV CONVERSION PROJECT BID. The council voted unanimously to reject the bids for a project to convert sections of the city’s electric grid for 4 kilovolts to 12 kilovolts. The vote came on the recommendation from city electrical engineer Eric Richter, who noted that the two bids received far exceeded the city’s budget for the projects.

Electrical contractor Service Electric’s bid was $1,069,142, while the bid received from the Madisonville-based William E. Groves Construction company was $1,420,889.

Richter explained that the specifications for the bids includes an aggressive construction deadline timetable for the project’s four separate work areas. He said several firms who did not bid said they opted not to participate due to that timetable.

Richter said the city will advertise for new bids and provide a less aggressive timetable for the projects.

Mayor Dick Heaton makes a point during Tuesday’s council meeting.

The priority project of the four involves conversion of the south end of the city, including rebuilding the shared Kentucky Utilities substation at the Barton’s 1792 Distillery. Richter said the planned completion date for the project will be by the end of the current fiscal year on July 1, 2019.

The other areas of the city electric grid due for conversion to 12 kv include the Reardon Boulevard area; the Hurstland Drive area; and the Bourbon Downs/Rogan Mobile Home Park area.

The three other parts of the project will also have less aggressive construction deadlines when advertised for new bids. Richter said the four parts of the project will be put out for bid as one comprehensive project.

UTILITY OUTAGE MAP. Richter told the council that the recent ice-related power outages prompted a conversation about how the city can better communicate with utility users about power outages in the city.

Salt River Electric, Kentucky Utilities and Louisville Gas & Electric all have web-based outage maps that allow customers to see the severity of power outages in the area. The maps also led viewers know if crews have been dispatched and an estimated time power will be restored.

Councilmember Bll Sheckles reviews a document with City Attorney Audrey Haydon prior to the start of Tuesday’s city council meeting.

Richter said the city will have a “beta” version of this function available on its website over the winter in the event of a utility outage. Plans are to add a “smart” version of the outage map that will require less human interaction that he said he hopes to see go live in the spring.

More information will be coming from city hall in the near future, Richter said.

SURPLUS CITY PROPERTY. The council discussed declaring a 19,133 square-foot tract of land at the corner of Bloomfield Pike and East Broadway as surplus property in order to dispose of the tract.

The tract is currently parking that serves several nearby businesses. It adjoins Pat Blandford’s Whispering Wheels skating rink property. The council agreed to have a resolution prepared for an upcoming meeting to declare the tract surplus.

In other business, the council:

– re-appointed Christina Bradford to a three-year term on the Joint Ethics Board.

NEXT UP. The council will next hold a special meeting on Dec. 27, 2018 to swear in the 2019 council members.

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