Commonwealth Journal

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January 14, 2013

Burnside ordered to turn over blueprints

Burnside —  

The City of Burnside has received an open records order from the state attorney general’s office — but it’s doubtful the documents in question will be making an appearance anytime soon, to hear the mayor tell it.
The notification bearing the name of Kentucky Attorney General Jack Conway and Assistant Attorney General James Herrick states that the City of Burnside violated the Open Records Act — which is designed to give citizens access to public documents and records — by failing to respond to a request by former city councilor Frank DeNiro.
DeNiro — who was on the Burnside City Council the last two years; he ran for re-election to the council in November but was not voted in for a second term — had requested to “view most current Burnside water plant plans-drawings and water lines” on April 4, 2012.
The order states that “(t)he City’s representation that it does not possess records of its water plant may indicate a further violation of the act or a records management problem and warrants investigation by the Department for Libraries and Archives.”
Burnside Mayor Ron Jones says nobody knows where the blueprints are right now — and that it’s been almost two decades since anyone likely did.
“If the library (department) says, ‘You didn’t do a good job of keeping them,’ I’ll say I wasn’t there 19 years ago,” said Jones. “Go talk to whoever it was (in City Hall) at the time.
“They may find that the city didn’t properly handle those records,” said Jones. “Well it wasn’t something I did, and it isn’t something I can do anything about now.”
Work on the current Burnside water treatment facility was done in 1994, noted Jones, long before he was on the council or in the mayor’s office. Jones said he had former water manager R.D. Huff search for the documents, and that search was unsuccessful. Also, Jones said he believes that someone contacted the firm that worked on the project — Lexington’s GRW Engineering — and that didn’t turn up the blueprints either.

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