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City officials eye state help for levee work

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Hawesville, Ky., mayor may provide guidance

By Kevin Koelling, Managing Editor

CANNELTON - Hawesville, Ky., Mayor Charlie King was able to secure state funding for a required match to perform mandated levee work, and could help Cannelton in a similar effort, Smokey Graves said Dec. 7.

Speaking at regular meetings of the city's board of public works and safety and common council, Cannelton's mayor said he's working to get details on how King secured a 10-percent match from the Kentucky governor's office, required to accompany federal funding aimed at ensuring levees will hold up against flooding.

The News reported in February that the Federal Emergency Management Agency instructed Cannelton and other cities to get their floodwalls accredited. Jerry Ball, who serves as Cannelton's floodwall custodian in addition to running its sewer department, reported in August an inspection toward that purpose would cost $210,000, and the city was supposed to find another federal agency willing to foot 10 percent of the bill.

Graves said he'll invite King to an upcoming meeting to offer guidance.

In related business, Ball reported that he had completed most of an effort to send an inspection camera through sewer lines under the levee, and planned to complete it this week. He also said he planned to attend an Army Corps of Engineers levee-safety seminar in Jeffersonville last week.

In other business, the public-works board voted to impose a $1,000 fine against the owner of two properties for not complying with a city ordinance, but suspended it until June. As The News reported Nov. 16, Carolyn Barr, owner of the Heck Building at Sixth and Taylor streets, had missed two deadlines for bringing it up to code. Saying her main goal was to save the building, she asked for more time. Board member Adam Goffinet expressed concern that the work could continue for years, and the board tabled the issue to consult with the city attorney.

The board opted unanimously at last week's meeting to impose the fine for the Heck Building and another at 603 Washington St., but to hold off collecting it until June. If the properties aren't in compliance by then, Barr will be charged $1,000 per month for the time they're in violation of regulations.

Graves also reported that the city would contribute to a March memorial service marking the 1960 crash of Northwest Orient Airlines Lockheed Electra Flight 710.

The Tell City Kiwanis Club is leading the commemoration, which is chaired by Rebecca Fenn, and asked Cannelton officials to plan portions of the event at the site near Millstone and the city's community center.

Graves said Cannelton will host activities March 13, and Tell City will take over the following day for a service at Greenwood Cemetery, where victims' remains were taken.

City Clerk-Treasurer Arvina Bozarth is among Cannelton residents involved in the planning, and can be contacted at 547-8994.

Fire Chief Charlie Little said he's "in the beginning stages of looking at" the purchase of a system that will allow firefighters to refill air tanks, a job that now requires trips to Tell City or elsewhere. A complete system could run $35,000, but he's eyeing a partial system that would likely cost $5,000 or $6,000.

He might be able to mount it on a fire truck, Little said, but that might not be feasible, he said, because of space requirements.