LYNCH, Ky. (AP) — An eastern Kentucky mayor is recommending that his city merge with another one to save money.
The Harlan Daily Enterprise (http://bit.ly/18SRoh9) reports Lynch Mayor Johnny Adams made the comments Tuesday during a City County meeting. Adams said the cities of Lynch and Benham should consider consolidating.
"The way the population trends are running now, the total population between Benham and Lynch will total about 1,500 residents," said Adams. "It makes sense to us to combine these two cities. Combine services — the police department, use one water and sewer plant instead of two. We don't need two city halls. If the cities combine, we could save a lot of money, keep us going for more years to come. If the decrease in population continues we may even have to eventually combine with Cumberland."
Adams told a crowd of residents that the city is operating at a deficit of about $4,000 per month and can't continue on that course.
He said the only alternative is charging Lynch residents $14 more per month for municipal services that include water, sewer and garbage pickup.
"This may cause hardship for some residents," but Adams said that "the rejection of these rate increases would be catastrophic and could result in the water plant being shut down, having the city taken over by the state, non-payment of withholding taxes, layoff of employees and cut off of medical insurance."
"I, as your mayor, and you, as a city council, have a legal responsibility to provide funding, which is necessary to run this city," said Adams. "The basic expenses for the city going out each month is $35,875. Our revenue coming into the city each month is $33,550."
Councilwoman Betty Hudack suggested placing a $10 per month assessment fee on each residence for one year, and then removing it.
The discussion was tabled until the next meeting.
Information from: Harlan Daily Enterprise, http://www.harlandaily.com