Shull White Rd. project put on hold

Leitchfield Public Works Director Sheila Puckett informed the City Council on Monday night, July 6 that bids had been received for the Shull White Road hazard mitigation project through FEMA, but the bids were much higher than originally estimated.

The original estimate, from about five years ago, stated the project would cost $353,194, which would be split three ways: FEMA would pay 75 percent of the cost; the State of Kentucky would pay 12 percent; and the City of Leitchfield would pay 13 percent.

The new estimated cost of the project is $430,740; however, the previously approved cost shares were set for the $353,194 estimate, so if the city were to proceed with the project now, FEMA would pay only 75 percent of the original estimate not the new estimate, Puckett said.

During the regularly scheduled, Monday, July 7 Leitchfield City Council meeting, Puckett asked that the city re-submit the new estimate to FEMA and request that it raise its share of the cost to compensate for the higher price.

The project would consist of widening Shull White Road to Hwy 1214 and raising the road’s creek crossing, which becomes unpassable in inclement weather, said Puckett, adding that FEMA approved funding for this project following the 2009 ice storm.

Puckett said the bids, opened on June 18, are good for 60 days, and officials believe the city has “a pretty good shot” at receiving the higher cost share from FEMA because the county recently returned a portion of its FEMA funding.

After discussion, the City Council voted to grant Puckett approval to re-submit the higher estimated cost to FEMA and request that the organization increase its share of the cost of the project.

A time-table for when FEMA will respond to the city’s request was not determined Monday.

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