Following is the text from the Summer, 2009, City of Indian Hills Newsletter:

IMPORTANT NOTICES

GARBAGE COLLECTION

Our garbage contract with Rumpke will expire on June 30, 2009, and your City Council put our contract out for bid. We had three bidders for this service, and the successful low bidder was Eco-Tech.. We were not unhappy with Rumpke, who has given us good service over the years, but Eco-Tech was the low bid by a significant amount and our Committee feels strongly that they will also do a good job for us. We understand that they have an excellent customer service record.

At the beginning of our new fiscal year, July 1, 2009, Eco-Tech will begin the garbage contract with the City of Indian Hills with the same back door pickup service. The only difference is that the collection will be made on WEDNESDAY, rather than Tuesday. Recycling will also be picked up on WEDNESDAY in the same recycling bins that Rumpke used with the Indian Hills logo on it. Eco-Tech will start collecting on WEDNESDAY, July 1st.

For those of you who have yard waste collection, it too will be collected on WEDNESDAY, but you need to call Eco-Tech and let them know if you want to continue your yard waste service. Their fee for yard waste is lower than Rumpke's, whose service will end 6/30/09. Eco Tech also has the 95 gallon rollout bins for yard waste if Rumpke picks up the one that you have. The Eco-Tech Environmental, LLC Service Coordinator is Bobby Lee who Can be reached at 502-817-2381, or 502-935-1130. Also customer service representatives can be reached at 502-935-1130.

Attached to this newsletter is a letter from Eco-Tech that will provide you with additional information. The company operates its own landfill in southern Indiana and currently collects refuse for the Cities of New Albany, Shepherdsville, many other small cities, individual home owners and a large number of commercial and industrial accounts.

Also attached is an ALERT regards inadvertant yard waste billing by Rumpke.

POWER OUTAGES

The second IMPORTANT ITEM concerns POWER OUTAGES in Indian Hills. As you know, we have had two major power outages in the last year, and quite a number of smaller outages.

Your Board has asked LG&E to take a look at our City and recommend what can be done to help eliminate these recurrences. As you know, in both of these major storms, power was out over a week. Hurricane Ike in September and the ice storm in January wreaked havoc in our City.

LG&E has easements throughout the City, and they have the right to clean these easements to whatever extent is required to facilitate maintenance and ensure reliable operation - in some instances where permissible this could mean clearing the easement from ground to sky. LG&E has been through the City and has detailed by tree what needs to be done. In the next few weeks you will get a mailer from LG&E notifying you that tree trimmers will be in the area. Someone from LG&E will be contacting you personally about the tree work that needs to be done on your property. Please work with them.

Attached to this newsletter are two items that should be read. One is the letter from Nelson Maynard, who is LG&E Director of Electrical Reliability; the second is a write-up from one of our Council members entitled "Power Outages," and is based on information provided by LG&E.

In a power outage, LG&E tries to restore electricity to as many people as quickly as possible. A City like Indian Hills with the large amount of tree growth in the easement areas, combined with the tremendous amount of honeysuckle undergrowth, can cause LG&E delays in service restoration. Removal of trees and undergrowth can reduce outages and expedite restoration.

LG&E plans to meet each affected resident of Indian Hills and discuss what they feel should be done to make their easement more accessible more rapidly.

CITY BUDGET

The third IMPORTANT ITEM concerns our CITY BUDGET. At the May Council Board meeting, we had the first reading of our 2009-2010 budget and will have the second reading at our June 18 Board meeting. Incidentally, there will be no City tax increase. This budget will be posted on our website, once it has been approved and published. As you may remember, in our last newsletter we gave you warning that we might have to raise our tax rate due to the cost of the storm damage and other related maintenance items in the City. The fact is that the new contract for garbage at a much more reduced cost than anticipated and the fact that the City has been reimbursed by FEMA for some of the cost of the storm damage alleviate the higher costs we anticipated. Therefore, we will be operating with a balanced budget and the tax rate will remain at 20 cents per $100 with a 12-1/2% discount for taxes paid before the due date.

Once again, we extend our thanks to Doctor of Dollars Councilman Lyle Spalding for the great job that he does in preparing this budget and other related financial items throughout the year. We also want to thank our bookkeeper, Robin Stilger, who provides a great deal of expert assistance to Councilman Spalding.

As we always mention in our newsletters, the property tax supports our budget, but there is another item that is important to our incorne; that is the insurance premium fee that generates about 10% of the total. Please be sure that when you receive your insurance bills you discern that Indian Hills is listed in the box that shows the governmental entity that provides your services. There is a new procedure for insurance companies to indicate where the insurance fees are being sent. If our City can become more efficient in collecting insurance premium fees, our residents will pay fewer property taxes.

STORM CLEANUP

Just to revisit the last storm for a minute, the ice storm in January, 2009, was probably the worst storm in the history of Indian Hills, including the tornado of 1974. There was not much damage to homes, but primarily to our trees and plantings. The City Council decided not to wait for the Metro cleanup, but to hire private contractors to remove our debris in a timely manner. We are sure you will agree that this action worked extremely well for our City; because Jefferson County was declared a disaster area, we were able to secure FEMA dollars to offset some of our cost. We think it was a good decision and dollars' well spent from our rainy day fund to make our City look in tip-top shape for spring and our Kentucky Derby season, when we have so many guests in our community.

REMINDERS

  • Reminder #1 - Our July 4 Parade will take place on Saturday, July 4 at 10:30 a.m. beginning at the corner of Tuckaho and Merrick Roads in the Robinswood Section of our City and we will once again enjoy the Drum & Fife Corps of the Sons of the American Revolution with their color guard. The Rascals of Ragtime will entertain us at the end of the parade on Ardsley Road, where we will have light refreshments. Once again, we thank Abby Jackson, Kelly Seiler, Kristi Levenhagan and, of course, Councilman Joel Deming for their work on this patriotic festival. All residents of Indian Hills are invited.
  • Reminder #2 - Our Octoberfest date is OCTOBER 4. Please mark your calendars to enjoy our 25th annual Octoberfest on Sunday, October 4, 2009. This event gets bigger and better every year, and we always look forward to what Jim Graven and the Octoberfest crew have planned for us. Detailed information will be sent in the autumn newsletter.
  • Reminder #3 - City Website. Be sure to check our website http://www.indianhillsky.org. We are constantly upgrading and updating the information on this site, including road closings, the budget, the newsletter and other City items of interest. Councilman Steve Gruebbel has done a great job with this website, and we appreciate his hard work.
F.Y.I.
  • Brownsboro Inn Property - As you can see, this center is being constructed, and should be a good addition to the east end of our City.
  • Azalea Property - No updates. We are trying to see that this site is maintained better than it has been; it is becoming an eyesore for our community, but more so for the City of Rolling Fields.
COPS CORNER
By Chief Kelly W. Spratt

IDENTITY THEFT

Although crime is relatively low in Indian Hills, we continue to investigate cases involving identity theft. In most cases, it is impossible to determine how the offender obtained the victim's identification; therefore, the crimes did not necessarily originate in Indian Hills.

Thieves can steal your identity by:

  • rummaging through trash
  • changing your mailing address through the USPS
  • stealing your wallet or purse from your vehicle
  • stealing incoming and outgoing mail from your mailbox

You can deter the thieves by:

  • shredding financial documents with personal information
  • not carrying your Social Security card in your wallet
  • not giving out personal information over the telephone or mail unless you know with whom you are dealing
  • not using obvious internet passwords (birth date, mother's maiden name, last four digits of your Social Security number)
  • keeping your personal information in a secure place at home, especially if you employ outside help or are having work done at your home
  • regularly inspecting your credit report and bank statements

These tips are recommended by the Federal Trade Commission. For more information, you may visit http://www.ftc.gov/idtheft.

TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT

Our officers continue to monitor roadways in Indian Hills and are enforcing speeding violations, disregarded stop signs, and other non- moving violations. Please continue to watch your speed so everyone can be safe and enjoy the summer.

ENJOY YOUR SUMMER

We had an adventurous beginning to 2009 with storms and ice. Hopefully, the rest of our year will be calm. Have a great summer!


A L E R T

(Indian Hills Residents)

To: Individual subscribers for Yard Waste Removal

If you received an invoice from Rumpke, please ignore it. Do not subscribe for another year with Rumpke. As of July 1, 2009, Rumpke is NOT our vendor for garbage and Yard Waste pick-up.

Please see the first page of the Summer 2009 newsletter concerning our new vendor.

Rumpke inadvertantly billed the current subscribers from its home office in Cincinnati. We have been advised that they will return any checks received and not bill any credit card numbers provided; however, you should verify that you do not pay for this service.


POWER OUTAGE!

Didn't we just do that? Twice?

Yes, we did two of the most devastating outages in history have occurred in the last 9 months and more are on the way, with the City of Indian Hills' name written all over them.

Isn't there something we can do to prevent, or at least mitigate, their impact?

Yes, there is it will require some sacrifice on our parts, but the heavy lifting will be done by LG&E.

It is said that time is the great healer. This is so because we forget we forget what it was like in a cold dark house, we forget having to abandon our homes because they were unlivable, we forget the damage that was done by burst pipes and falling trees. But now we need to remember, so we can take steps to help avoid having to go through this again.

Some facts LG&E tracks outage data for individual circuits and can relate individual circuit statistics to those of the entire LG&E system. The LG&E circuit that serves most of the Country Club section has a service interruption frequency that is one and a half times the average system interruption frequency. The duration of these outages is more than two times the system average. The reason? Trees! In fact, this circuit is in the top 10% of all system circuits experiencing tree related outages. Keep in mind the system includes rural as well as urban circuits. These are not statistics where it's a good thing to excel.

LG&E is poised and ready to work through the city in an effort to minimize future outages. Their arborist has walked the lines of this circuit, and has prepared a detailed plan which identifies trees that present a potential hazard to service. At this point it must be understood that LG&E does not need permission to remove vegetation, or other growth or substance that interferes with the operation and maintenance of lines. A utility can remove trees and limbs that are at risk of falling on lines, and they can remove brush and undergrowth in order to maintain or operate the lines. Despite their clear authority to do whatever is necessary to maintain and operate their lines, LG&E has not taken a hard nosed approach. They responded to the City government, explained the plans they've been preparing, and asked for our input and assistance. They are willing to work with property owners to resolve any issues.

The City supports LG&E's endeavor. It is our duty to promote and provide for public safety. Much has been written metro wide complaining about the outages, and what can be done. The trimming and/or removal of trees which present a potential hazard to our service lines is what can be done and what should be done.

As LG&E moves forward with this service improvement plan, they will be contacting each individual property owner to explain what they will be doing on their right-of-way on the property, and asking permission regards recommended trimming or removal of trees that are not on the right-of-way, but which present a potential hazard to service. Limbs and branches that are removed will be ground in a chipper and hauled off. Trees and limbs greater than the chippers can handle (typically greater than 3 to 4 inch diameter) will be cut to fireplace length and left on the ground.

As the work begins on service improvements in the Country Club section, assessment of the required work in the remainder of the city will be undertaken in similar fashion.

Again, property owners must keep in mind that LG&E does not need permission to do whatever they deem is required on their right-of-way. As for proposed work not on the right-of-way, residents are encouraged to give strong consideration to LG&E's recommendations. This is one very tangible way in which you can be part of the solution to the recurring issue of electrical service outages benefiting both yourself and your neighbors.