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June 6, 2014

Curbside recycling coming to London in 2015

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Curbside recycling will be coming to London by the beginning of 2015, according to city officials.  The announcement was made Monday night during a city council meeting.

“Curbside recycling has been a long time coming,” London Mayor Troy Rudder said.  “We had to wait until we were ready for it though.  You can’t jump into this type of endeavor, but hopefully within six months we’ll see some home pickup.”

The city recently signed an agreement for two automated curbside trucks with EZ-Pack Trucks.  The Cynthiana based company will be building the two new trucks over the next six months and will use parts purchased from Martin’s Peterbilt of Eastern Kentucky.

Public Works Director Steve Edge told the council that garbage trucks typically have a live span ranging from five-to-seven years, the trucks currently in use have been on the streets since 1999 and are in constant need of repair.

The two new trucks will run off of compressed natural gas rather than diesel.

“Compressed natural gas burns a whole lot cleaner,” Rudder said.  “We’ve already contacted a company about the gas and they’re going to provide us with a filling station which will save us about $100,000.”

According to Rudder, the fuel is a “slow fill” source that takes hours to fill up but provides much better gas mileage and is much cleaner and better for the enviornment.   

“I think it’s really commendable that they’re using local businesses to make these trucks,” said council member Jim Hays.  “It’s great that we’re using clean gas and local businesses.”

Rudder said that the city is in the process of hiring a few seasonal employees for recycling right now and after the trucks have been built EZ Pack will send someone to London to train the drivers on how to operate their new equipment.

“We’re going to phase this in,” Edge said.  “We’re going to take two days and put them on a route to get them set up.  It’s a pretty lengthy process, but we’re hoping by the second quarter we’ll be able to phase in another two days.”

The future of the bike park was also discussed during Monday’s meeting.  Director of Risk Management Rick Cochrane updated the city council on his plans to complete the park project.

“When the money from the restaurant tax starts coming in we’ll start finishing the bike park,” Cochrane said.  “Our goal is to open the bike park by October, we really want to get this park done.  I’m tired of hearing it called the ‘so called park,’ I want to start hearing it called the park.”

According to Cochrane the park has been funded through grant money and to date $220,000 has been raised over the last four years, but that number falls way short of the estimated $800,000 it will cost to complete.

Throughout the next few months the park will get upgrades to the already existing skate park and will have new features including a bike skills track and three NCAA basketball courts.

Cochrane said he hopes to see work begin as early as July.

The city council was also presented with a request to advertise for bids for the repair of Liperote Drive.

According to Edge the city requested for qualifications from engineers to see if the repairs the city is planning for Liperote Drive are correct.

The engineering company approved for the bid was Summit Engineering Firm, represented by Kyle Day.

Hays asked how much the request for qualifications would cost the city and was informed that until the engineers were able to go to the site and see what needed to be done there wouldn’t be a definite price.

“You’re asking us to approve something but you’re not telling us what it’s going to cost,” Hays said.  “If you want us to approve it we need to know what this is going to cost.  We can’t just approve you to do this and then you send us a bill.”

Due to Hays’ protest the request was tabled pending a price quote from Summit Engineering.

Also discussed:

Mayor Rudder was given approval by the city council to sign a grant application for diving equipment.  The grant is an unmatched grant for $13,600 and will provide better equipment for local rescue divers.

Edge presented the city council with plans to fall under federal regulation for traffic sinage control programs. 

rmcdaniel@sentinel-echo.com

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