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Taylor Mill Residents Concerned that Houses May Be Lost to Creek

Two families asked the Taylor Mill city commission for help in preventing their homes from falling into Banklick Creek.

B.J. Hall said that he and his wife purchased a home on Holds Branch Road twenty-nine years ago after moving from eastern Kentucky. Banklick Creek used to be several yards from his home, he said, but is now close to his back door.

On March 11, Hall said that a retaining wall that he had built out of railroad ties collapsed and that the rock baskets he designed to help strengthen the wall mostly disintegrated.

City engineer Robert Seitzinger said that he looked at the situation and thought it could be fixed, at first.

The next visit, though, Seitzinger was less optimistic. He told Hall that the city would not be able to spend public money on one citizen's property.

"We need immediate help of some kind," Hall said. "I cannot afford to hire an attorney and fight this thing for years out. We're going to lose our house, literally."

Hall's neighbor, James Norris, who also lives on Holds Branch Road, stood up, and said his house is in danger too, but not as bad as Hall's.

"My house is going to go into the creek," he said, "but his house will be gone before mine."

They believe the problem is caused by housing developments up the creek.

Norris said that years ago, when there was a heavy rain, they could still walk across the creek.  Now, they say, there is no possibility of crossing the creek after a heavy rain because it is too deep.

Hall said that the city received a $90,0000 grant years ago to put in the rock baskets into the bank of the creek. Commissioner Dan Murray said, those rock baskets don't last forever, and the increased force of the water combined with the age eventually erodes the baskets.

City Administrator Brian Haney is trying to get the Kentucky Division of Water to help, even though the property is private. He said he could not understand why the city would put the baskets on private property. He understands the emergency nature of the situation, and said he will contact them both when there is a good plan.

In other business, the city commission adopted an ordinance establishing a contract for police officers, stating that any officer hired by the city and paid to train at the state police academy must work at the city for three years, or will have to pay back the costs of training.

The commission also adopted a resolution proclaiming April as National Autism Awareness Month. Mayor Dan Bell said that he has an autistic grandson, and he would like for other children to understand that children with autism need patience and understanding.

The city will receive $134,419.30 in state municipal road aid.

There will be a special meeting on April 17 at 7 p.m. for the city sidewalk project. Three bids were received and opened, and all three were under the grant amount for the project.  At the meeting, the commissioners will look at the bids, and at the recommendation of their engineering company, CT Engineers, pick the one best suited for the job.

Police Lieutenant James Mills was recognized for graduating from the School of Criminal Justice.

Written by Patricia A. Scheyer, RCN contributor