Council hears about demolished properties; returns to in-person meeting

The Middlesboro City Council heard updates from the city department heads during the panel’s first in-person meeting in several months on Jan. 19. The council had been meeting via conference call due to COVID-19.

Mayor Rick Nelson called on Codes Enforcement Superintendent Tim Kelley for his report.

“I want to bring you up to date,” Kelley said. “We had 11 invoices that were mailed out on Dec. 18 for the properties we demolished in the fall of 2020.”

Kelley said the total costs for the demolitions included all expenses such as employee wages and equipment costs, totaling approximately $35,000.

“When we added the fines in, the total came to $47,434,” Kelley said. “Those invoices were sent on the 18th of December, they have 30 days to pay those invoices, then our next move will be to collect those totals. If we can’t collect those totals, we will go to liens on the property.”

According to Kelley, an additional 11 new final orders were also mailed.

“Once again, they’ll still have 30 days that they can appeal that to district court if they so choose,” Kelley explained.

Kelley explained there are also building inspections and new construction permits underway.

The council also heard from Sewer Department Superintendent Josh Campbell.

“In December, the plant had been running exceptionally,” Campbell said.

According to Campbell, at the beginning of January the plant began having problems.

“The slush wouldn’t settle,” Campbell said. “We’re looking into trying to figure out what’s going on with that. We sent some samples off to have them analyzed in a lab in Nashville…we’re still waiting on the results.”

Campbell said things have improved.

“As of today, the plant was actually in a lot better shape than it was the past few days,” Campbell said. “I don’t want to give false hope, because it will do this. When it goes through this, it will be upset, then it will get better, it just flip flops. So, were not necessarily out of the woods yet.”

Campbell mentioned an announcement from Gov. Andy Beshear.

“I don’t know if you all saw the statement the governor put out,” Campbell said. “He was very enthusiastic about wanting to improve infrastructure in the state of Kentucky.”

The council approved a motion to accept the department reports.