NEW ALBANY —
Louisville Gas and Electric Co. recently met with New Albany Mayor Jeff Gahan and city officials about the breaker station being constructed off Kenzig Road, near Interstate 265 and State Street.
Tuesday night, LG&E officials brought the Floyd County Commissioners up to speed on the project.
More than 100 trees have been cleared at the site. Heavy construction vehicles are using Kenzig Road and large poles being placed in the ground. LG&E will repave Kenzig Road after the project is completed.
Robby Trimble, manager of transmission line services, explained the project to the commissioners at Tuesday’s meeting at the Pine View Government Center. Trimble said easement was purchased from three different property owners. He said native grasses will be planted in the area that was cleared and in two years it “should look like a meadow.” He also said the project should be finished in March 2015.
Both city officials and the commissioners have said they didn’t know anything about the project until residents near the site called to complain.
“The project makes sense, but when you clear trees, put in 500 foot poles and build access roads, people are going to start asking what is going on,” said Steve Bush, president of the commissioners. “We knew nothing about this project.”
Trimble said local residents and the public will be updated as the project continues.
The breaker station will be located within New Albany’s two-mile fringe area.
LG&E spokeswoman Natasha Collins acknowledged Monday that the company did meet recently with Gahan and administration officials. The city issued a news release on Monday in which it requested a detailed mitigation plan from the utility company for the project. In the release, Gahan called on LG&E to hold a series of public meetings to inform residents about the project.
“We look forward to further discussions with the city regarding the details of those requests,” Collins said. “As with all of our construction projects, it has been our intent to reclaim the area where the construction is taking place with vegetation compatible with the new facilities, such as native grasses.”
Employee health insurance
The commissioners voted unanimously to once again look at a proposal which would not allow employees to add spouses to their health insurance.
Cost-cutting measures were made recently to the county health insurance plan that starts Jan. 1, 2014. One of those changes is to eliminate spousal coverage from the plan.
However, that may be revised. The commissioners will ask insurance agent Rick Zoeller to get new costs to the county if spouses would be allowed to stay on the plan.
More sick, personal days?
Longtime county employee Cheryl Mills asked the commissioners to consider increasing sick and personal days to employees since they will once again not be receiving a pay increase in 2014. She said morale among the employees is about as low as she has ever seen it.
“They would feel like they were getting something,” she said.
The commissioners are taking the request under advisement.
AT&T tower at Pine View
The commissioners voted to allow AT&T to construct a tower on the Pine View Government Center property. The county will receive $1,000 a month and if the tower ever becomes unusable, AT&T would be responsible for its removal.
There will be a meeting to discuss the Floyd County Parks Department’s five-year masterplan on Nov. 21 at the Pine View Government Center, and again at a parks meeting Dec. 2. Both meetings start at 6 p.m.