The Lexington Gas System Board met in a special called meeting on Tuesday evening, March 7th, to discuss the plans for a new operations center for the Gas Department. The facility would also house the Lexington Water System inventory and vehicles. Director Michael Harper delivered the bids to the board, with the bid by ENT being the lowest at $3,012,811.00. It was noted that this bid was $163,000.00 lower than the other lowest alternative. The price received mixed reviews by the board. The project had been discussed at length during both utility and city board meetings. Harper said that the engineering estimate they had received was known to be lower than actual cost, and that the Gas Department had been preparing for the project for several years, building the budget where possible in anticipation.
The vote was called for, with Emmett Blankenship, Gordon Wildridge, and Peggy Gilbert voting for the project, and Jeff Griggs, Sandra Woods, and Jack Johnson voting against. With the motion in a tied vote, it was left to the board chairman, John Casselberry, who cast the breaking vote to approve the building project. In an interview with Harper afterwards, he brought the plans for the building out and explained the project. “It’s important first to take into consideration that the facility will be the Operations Center for two city departments, both Gas and Water,” Harper said. He also went on to say that, “We were setting aside funds in a five-year plan, but the discovery of asbestos…
For the complete story, see the March 15th edition of The Lexington Progress.