Lebanon Junction plans for future emergencies

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By Alex Wimsatt

    LEBANON JUNCTION - In an effort to better prepare for emergency situations, Lebanon Junction has taken action to establish tornado shelters in the city, and purchase safety equipment for those working in potentially dangerous confined spaces.

    The Lebanon Junction city council recently allotted $10,000 to be used for a confined space kit, which includes harnesses, air monitoring equipment, helmets, rope and other gear.

    The kit would be used for rescue operations and to improve the safety of those working in places like underground vaults, tanks, storage bins, manholes, pits, and pipelines.

    Lebanon Junction Fire & Rescue Chief Kendall Coleman, who made the request for funding, said it would be the first time Lebanon Junction had its own confined space kit, adding that without one the city has had to call on

Shepherdsville for emergencies.

    Coleman said fire and rescue first considered purchasing its own confined space kit a couple of years ago when workers went  to shut off an underground valve and found noxious gases in the small space.

    “We’re definitely going to be more prepared than we were before,” Coleman said. “We’re trying to look to the future and take care of the city.”

    Coleman said the cost of the kit was about $7,000, and the remaining $3,000 would be spent on a trailer to haul the equipment.

    Councilman Tim Sanders made the motion to grant Fire and Rescue the $10,000 to purchase the kit and trailer. The motion passed unanimously.

    After the council approved Coleman‘s request, the chief announced that he was checking with local churches to see if they would allow their facilities to be designated tornado shelters.

    As of last week, mayor Butch Sweat said the First Baptist Church of Lebanon Junction has been designated an emergency shelter for the public to go to in the event of a tornado.

    Sweat said the city was also setting up sites for emergency command centers for other natural disasters and emergencies.

    “We’re drawing up some plans to prepare us,” Sweat said. “I hope we never have to use them.”

    In other business:

    *Sweat informed Council members that Bullitt Fiscal Court received $2.4 million in federal stimulus funds and Lebanon Junction was eligible to borrow some of that with a low interest rate. He told council members that Lebanon Junction Water Works was looking into borrowing about $600,000 in county bonds to replace old waterlines below the city.

    Sweat said the  federal government would pay most of the interest on the loan, costing the city only the principal.

    “We won’t be out a lot of money ,” he said.

    The city must apply by July 1 at 4 p.m. otherwise they won’t be eligible to receive the county bonds.

*Lebanon Junction Lions Club treasurer Allie Phillips presented the Council with a check for $500 to help pay for a new entrance to the Lebanon Junction Cemetery. The Council gladly accepted the Lions Club’s contribution and Ozzie Maraman made a motion to go ahead with construction. The Council unanimously approved.

    Sweat said the city received many donations for the wrought iron, arched entrance, which was estimated to cost about $4,500.

    *The city will be having its annual Clean Up Day on May 21-23 at the city park on Wall Street. The City will have dumpsters available for trash and other large items that Lebanon Junction residents wish to dispose of.

    The following items will not be accepted: hazardous waste, liquid waste and tars, dead animals, burning or smoldering materials, any materials containing petroleum or freon, batteries, and all other materials containing harmful matter.

    Lebanon Junction Police will be on hand to supervise.