Harlan City Council addressed a variety of issues during a meeting Monday. The problem of blighted property sparked discussion among the panel.
Mayor Danny Howard brought the council up to date on progress that has been made recently on some of the property.
“One of our houses in Fairview has been demolished and cleaned up,” said Howard.
According to council member Croley Forester, there is still work to be done.
Howard said he had been contacted by other Harlan County cities looking for advice on the issue of blighted property.
“I’ve been approached by a couple of cities in the Tri-Cities area wanting to know what they can do with blighted property,” said Howard. “I told them it is a long, long process, and possibly we need to go to county government to ask them to get involved. Maybe the cities and the county could come together.”
Howard stated he did not want to infringe upon owner’s rights, but at the same time residents have expressed worry to him that blighted property would bring down the value of other homes in the area.
“It’s something we’re all going to have to work on as a group,” said Howard.
Howard also addressed the issue of charging a deposit for new sewer hook ups.
Howard asked the council’s approval of a $50 deposit for new sewer hookups.
A motion approving a $50 deposit that would be refundable should the customer leave the property was passed without any objection.
A situation on Ivy Hill was brought to the attention of council by a resident. Jill Huff informed the council about a ditch line that was overflowing.
“Our ditch line has been filled in with dirt and leaves,” said Huff. “We’ve done what we can to clean it out, but it’s caused erosion of our hillside into our yard.”
Howard inquired about the location.
“On the back street at the top,” answered Huff.
Huff presented Leo Miller, the city engineer, with pictures of the problem.
“Give us a little time,” said Howard. “We’ll get up there tomorrow and take whatever corrective measures need to be done. We’ll be in contact with you to start a plan on what needs to be done and how we’re going to do it. I hope that will satisfy you. We’ll try every way that we can.”
In other activity, council set the second week of April running from April 8-12 for spring cleanup.
Reach Joe P. Asher at 606-573-4510, firstname.lastname@example.org