The Harlan City Council dispensed of city business in short order during a meeting on Monday.
Mayor Danny Howard reported to the council on a situation between the city and the Harlan Housing Authority.
Howard mentioned he had set up a payment plan to collect funds owed the city from the Harlan Housing Authority.
“I met with the Harlan Housing Authority’s new director, Morris Deaton,” Howard told the panel. “We were supposed to have a meeting with HUD over an inspection report. During this meeting, Mr. Deaton was telling me…they had been redoing plumbing in the Housing Authority to the tune of about $300,000. The part from HUD was about $225,000. Their daily operating budget was a little low and they were written up for that.”
Howard said the Housing Authority currently owes the city approximately $67,000.
“What this is, is payment in lieu of taxes,” said Howard. “I set up a payment schedule…$20,000 will come due at the end of February.”
Howard said additional payments will be made throughout the next year until the full amount is paid.
Howard also updated the panel concerning some maintenance work coming up.
“We did get the award to fix the culvert out at Woodland Hills,” Howard said. “We will advertise for bids to do that repair, we’ll be getting started on that.”
City Attorney Scott Lisenbee reported he had researched some information concerning cleaning up commercial buildings.
“I talked to the League of Cities,” Lisenbee said. “The only thing they can tell me is what other cities are doing is kind of a beautification project with community involvement, they’re going about doing it that way. According to them there’s not a whole lot we can do as far as ‘you’ve got to clean this up or else.’”
Harlan City Fire Chief Linette Hutchison mentioned there was a commercial building downtown that had become a danger due to the windows blowing out of it.
Howard asked Lisenbee if that could fall under a public safety issue. Lisenbee said it could be dealt with as blighted property.
No action was taken by the council on the issue at this time.
In other council activity:
• Howard told the council the city had recently purchased a street sweeper;
• Hutchison reported she would be applying for a grant for a new ladder truck. She said this is the sixth time the grant has been applied for.
• The Harlan City Police Department reported 2,764 calls, completed 17 accident reports, opened 21 criminal cases, lodged 39 people in the Harlan County Detention Center, served 17 warrants and wrote 72 citations.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-909-4132 or on Twitter @joe_hde