Time is running out for the city of Clarkson to complete a survey of all of its sewer-line customers to determine if it will be eligible to apply for grant money for the upgrade of its sewer system.
The city has until the first of August to complete the customer surveys which will tell if the city will be able to apply for a Community Development Block Grant. In order to apply for the grant, it must be shown that the percentage of customers in the low-to-middle income bracket is at least 51 percent. The last census put that number at just over 48 percent.
Mayor Bonnie Henderson and the commissioners tried to recruit volunteers from the city to help with the canvassing of sewer customers but got no response from the community. That meant that the mayor and the four commissioners were left with the task of doing the canvassing themselves.
As of Monday evening when the commission met at Clarkson City Hall, only a little over 150 of the some 420 customers had been surveyed. When Henderson spoke with Ashley Wilby, of the Lincoln Trail Development District, he expressed the belief that there was no way the city was going to be able to complete the survey in time to apply for the grant.
To that end, the city is going to try other ways than going door-to-door to have the surveys completed. Survey questionnaires are going to be made available at Rednecks Ranch Restaurant, Kay’s Restaurant, and at City Hall. Anyone from any household can complete the questionnaire as long as they have knowledge of their income.
Henderson said she is also going to try leaving the surveys on the doors of customers hoping the occupants will complete the survey and turn it in at city hall.
Even if the city completes the survey in time to apply for the grant, there is no guarantee it will receive any grant money. These loans come through the federal government and there is a lot of competition from all over the country. But because the grant could cover as much as forty percent of the entire project, the commission felt it would be worth the extra effort to try to become eligible.
If the city cannot come up with this grant money, an increase in sewer rates seems to be inevitable, something the city would like to avoid if at all possible.
In other business, the city received the audit results for the 2014-15 Fiscal Year. Jason Strange, of Smith & Company CPA’s, out of Bardstown, presented the audit to the commission.
In addition to an account of the city’s assets and liabilities, the audit made a number of recommendations concerning internal controls over the operation of city government. Most of those suggestions concerned the segregation of duties of agencies within the city.
Clarkson Police Chief, Buck Meredith, sought permission for two law enforcement issues. Meredith spoke with City Attorney Jeremy Logsdon to see if it would be legal for his office to raffle off a gun, with the proceeds going to fund its Shop-With-a-Cop program. Logsdon said he saw no problem with that and the commission gave its go-ahead.
Meredith also said he would like to schedule some Safety Road Checks in the near future. On those days, which will be announced ahead of time, motorists traveling through Clarkson will be stopped at road blocks for a vehicle inspection.