City awards drainage project contract

Published 1:06 pm Thursday, September 8, 2016

By Fred Petke,

After years of planning and protracted negotiations with property owners, the City of Winchester is ready to embark on a storm drainage project on East Washington Street.

Tuesday evening, the Winchester Board of Commissioners awarded the contract to DMH Construction, which submitted the low bid of $87,131.25. Five other companies bid on the project, with a high bid of $149,149 from Lagco, Inc., according to city documents.

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Winchester City Manager Matt Belcher said the project, which affects a number of property owners along East Washington Street, could be completed by the end of the year.

“We will have a preconstruction conference within the next couple weeks,” he said. “We’re looking at a 90-day construction window. Hopefully, we’ll get it (finished) before winter.”

The project has been planned and needed for years, as water from heavy rains would stagnate in yards and encroach on several homes, he said. One property owner refused to grant a right-of-way until earlier this year when the commissioners were considering having to condemn the property needed for the project.

The natural drainage in that neighborhood runs through several yards and close to homes, he said.

“What we want to go si divert that and move it further back in the yards,” Belcher said.

The Board also approved a change order to the contract with Palmer Engineering to provide engineering services for the project, increasing the cost by $7,500 for a total of $23,370.

The commissioners also approved an increase in starting salaries for part-time patient transfer specialists for Winchester Fire-EMS from $8 an hour for EMTs and $10 for paramedics to $12 an hour for EMTs and $14 for paramedics. The positions require a maximum of 90 hours a month or 27 hours a week.

Winchester Fire-EMS Chief Cathy Rigney said the department has had a hard time finding people to work as patient transfer specialists at the previous salaries. With more employees, the department could take more patient transfers which could increase revenue for the department.

The increases were approved unanimously.

The commissioners also approved the second reading of tax rates on watercraft and motor vehicles at 19.5 cents per $100 value. The commissioners also proposed leaving the property tax rate the same at 14.6 cents per $100 value. The first reading of the property tax ordinance will be at the Sept. 20 meeting.

In other action, the Board of Commissioners:

— set trick or treat hours from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday, Oct. 31.

— accepted the resignation of Christie Aaron from the Clark County-Winchester Heritage Commission and appoiinted Bonnie Noplis to fill the unexpired term ending Dec. 31, 2018.

— reappointed Mike Anderson to the Winchester Municipal Utilities Commission for a four-year term ending Sept. 30, 2020.

— authorized the installation of a street light at the intersection of Rowland and Burton avenues.

— hired Brooklyn Khloe Kelley as a patient transfer specialist.

— approved a 2 percent pay increase for all crossing guards.

— hired Danny Potter as a crossing guard.

— accepted the resignations of crossing guards Rosemary Gibson, Eric Griffett, Mel Smith and Harvey Watkins.

— reclassified Dreama Southern from communications officer III to communications officer II.

— reclassified Ashley Tackett from patient transfer specialist/EMT to patient transfer specialist/paramedic.

Contact Fred Petke at or follow him on Twitter, @FredPetkeNews.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email or call 859-759-0051.

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