Inter-local agreement signed by fiscal court

By Christy Howell-Hoots
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BROOKSVILLE — Bracken County magistrates received a copy of the inter-local agreement between the fiscal court and the city of Augusta outlining the advance offered to Augusta for pool renovations.

According to the agreement, the fiscal court approved an advance of $150,000 to the city in order to make repairs to the pool. The money was already given to the city each year in the amount of $7,500. Now, the city will receive the money in a lump sum.

The money will be paid back over 20 years, according to Bracken County Judge-Executive Earl Bush.

“Bracken acknowledges that the community pool in Augusta is used by all citizens in the county and is a much needed facility for all citizens for the county,” the agreement said.

The agreement also outlined the requirements of the advance.

According to the agreement, the money can only be used for the purpose of repairing the community pool. If the money is used for anything other than the pool, the city must repay the money out of its own budget, rather than the $7,5000 the county gives to the city each year; the city of Augusta must charge all citizens of Bracken County the same amount to use the pool; and can not cease operations prior to the end of the 20-year term of the agreement.

“If for any reason, Augusta chooses to charge a higher rate to persons who live outside the city limits of Augusta, the city of Augusta will be responsible for paying back the loan from its own funds,” the agreement said. “If Augusta decides to cease operation of the pool prior to the 20-year term, Augusta will be responsible for paying back the loan from its own funds.”

The city recently received two bids for the renovations of the pool, but rejected the low bid after the bidder did not follow bidding specifications.

According to Augusta Mayor Wendell High, the two bids received for the renovation were Natare, out of Indianapolis, Ind., in the amount of $187,691 and PSS Contractors, out of Cincinnati, in the amount of $325,000.

High told council members that during a meeting of the Augusta pool committee, it was discovered Natare’s bid did not meet the minimum requirements.

There are several renovations that need to be completed for the pool to begin operating again. It was shut down early last summer because of the many problems. High said he did not believe the pool would be reopened this year because there is so much work that needs to be completed.

According to the scope of work provided to bidders, some of those renovations include removing the concrete floor, deck and wading pool in order to install new main drains, gutters, pool plumbing and wading pool plumbing, provide PVC I-Bar grating, replace concrete deck, add a 60 mil membrane using industry standard installation system, replace pool ladders with commercial pool ladders, keep the diving board, add handrail to the wading pool, provide signage and safety equipment and other work.

On Thursday, High said there are still too many unanswered questions regarding the renovation bids, but a meeting will be scheduled to approve or reject the bid once those questions have been answered.

During the meeting, two members of the Brooksville City Council said they were in the process of writing the budget and wanted to offer assistance to the Brooksville Fire Department for the testing of hoses, pump pressure and fire hydrants, but wanted to know what assistance the county offered to the department, before the city increased its offer of assistance.

Bush said the county offers $7,000 to the Brooksville Volunteer Fire Department, $7,000 to the Augusta Volunteer Fire Department and $3,500 to the Germantown Volunteer Fire Department.

“Not skimping on Germantown, but they’re a joint fire department with Mason County and they help some with that,” Bush said. “We know that in this community, we rely upon our fire departments.”

Other items discussed during the meeting included:

— A letter sent to the city of Germantown about a street in the city limits that is being maintained by the county, but not covered under county road aid. The letter gives the city some options, which includes maintaining it itselfor having it included in the county road system.

— Vacancy of a seat on the board of assessments. Greg Mains’ term will expire May 31 and he will need to be replaced as a person can not serve two terms in a row and must wait three years before returning to the board.

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By Christy Howell-Hoots