WDRB joins the FPB Cable Line-Up

FPB cable customers can now find WDRB on channels 4 and 504 of the cable line-up. In December, FPB’s board approved an agreement to bring back the Louisville Fox affiliate for its top-rated local news coverage. The agreement allows FPB to retransmit WDRB news and syndicated programming into Frankfort.

“I have always considered Frankfort to be an essential part of the Louisville viewing area. Unfortunately, for legal reasons, WDRB has been unable to provide our television station to that market for the last several years. Now, thanks to the forward thinking folks at the Frankfort plant board we will once again be able to provide news, weather and sports from Kentucky’s largest television news organization to the great city of Frankfort,” said Bill Lamb, President of WDRB Media in Louisville.

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Short power outage planned downtown Thursday morning

The Frankfort Plant Board Electric Department has scheduled a planned outage affecting parts of downtown this Thursday morning, April 12 from 5 to 5:30 a.m. Power will be interrupted on the blocks between Broadway and Wapping St. and between Wilkinson Blvd. and Capital Ave.

FPB is finishing a project on Catfish Alley, which involves converting overhead feeder lines to underground lines. The power interruption is necessary to tie the new underground lines to the main underground feeder.

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On the Table gives everyone a voice

On Wednesday, March 28, the Franklin County Community Fund, in partnership with the Frankfort Area chamber of Commerce, is sponsoring a community event called On the Table. This is a one-day opportunity to gather around a table with friends, colleagues, neighbors and others to have a real conversation about what is important to us in this community. Sessions will be held throughout the day at various public locations, as well as private homes.

The goal is to share experiences and hear other people’s perspectives on how we should build and maintain the neighborhoods and community we desire. These conversations over coffee and snacks will inform decision-making about planning, development, investment, social services, rural lands and the environment.

The Frankfort Plant Board plays a big role in the development of this community by the nature of the services we provide. To that end, FPB has joined with the State Journal and Capital City Communications to form the Frankfort Local Media Alliance. We will co-host two sessions in the community room of the FPB admin building. The first session will begin at 7 a.m. and the second session will start at 8:30 a.m.

If you have an opportunity, please take an hour to come participate. 

For more information about the program and a full list of public conversation locations, go to https://www.bgcf.org/onthetable/public.

 

Wednesday, March 28

7 a.m. or 8:30 a.m.

Community Room at FPB Admin Building

151 Flynn Avenue

Frankfort

New budget sign-ups begin in April

During this past cold winter, many customers were surprised by spikes in their electric usage that were reflected on their bills. One way to avoid that is to sign up for Budget Billing

What is budget billing? It is a calculation of the average of your bills for the past 12 months. Based on your usage last year, this average would be your monthly bill for the year. This lets you know how much you can expect to pay each month - No surprises!

The budget billing year begins in June and runs through May. Enrollment for this year begins in April. The deadline to enroll for budget billing is May 9 for Cycle 1 customers and May 24 for Cycle 2 customers. 

May is the reconciliation month for existing budget customers. These customers who have an outstanding balance will need to pay in full on or before their May due date.

 

 

Capital Plaza Tower Implosion Q&A

The tower is set to come down this Sunday, March 11 at 1:30 p.m. Officials have designated a 700 foot exclusion zone around the area which is off limits on implosion day. Nearby residents and guests of the Capital Plaza Hotel must remain indoors 45 minutes prior to the implosion and 15 minutes after the implosion. 

Here are some answers to questions you may have about the project.

Why is state government tearing down the building?

For over a decade, the Commonwealth has conducted numerous studies of the Capital Plaza Tower and attempted to assess maintenance and operational issues associated with the campus. The most recent study, updated in 2011, includes, but is not limited to, issues such as:

•             Non-compliance with seismic design requirements;

•             Lack of adequate fire protection and alarm systems;

•             Non-compliance with energy code;

•             Excess energy and maintenance costs;

•             Repair costs that were estimated to exceed 50% of the replacement costs.

 

What is the difference between an implosion and an explosion?

There is a huge difference between an implosion and an explosion. An implosion is a strategic engineered placement of explosives that produces a progressive failure of a structure. In this instance, the energy is directed inward to the tower itself. A typical blasting or explosion, is done in bedrock and causes significantly more seismic activity and transference of vibrations greater distances.

 

When and what streets will be closed on Sunday, March 11? Are there parking restrictions?

All streets adjacent to the exclusion zone will be closed beginning at various times throughout the morning and afternoon.

Closures will affect the following streets:

·         9 a.m.: Mero Street closed from Wilkinson Blvd. to Ann Street.

·         Lewis Street closed from Clinton to Mero.

·         12:30 p.m.: Clinton Street closed from Wilkinson to Ann Street.

·         The West Frankfort Connector/Mero St bridge closed from Wilkinson to Taylor Ave.

·         The West Frankfort Connector/Clinton St bridge closed from Wilkinson to Taylor Ave.

 

·         1 p.m.: Wilkinson Blvd. closed from Leestown Lane to Clinton Street.

Parking Restrictions:

·         No parking on Lewis St. from Clinton to Mero.

·         No parking on Ann St. from Clinton to Mero.

·         No parking in lot behind the Old Capital and Annex.

·         Restricted parking at Farmer’s Market lot and YMCA lot at Wilkinson and Broadway.

 

Where can people go downtown to view the implosion?

We are providing information on the areas, in addition to the 700-foot buffer exclusion zone around the tower, that will be restricted to the general public. Those wishing to be downtown can determine where they may want to go to view the implosion. Again, there will be dust. Each individual will need to decide if they want to be in an area where dust may or may not be.

The upper deck area behind and to the sides of the Frankfort YMCA building will not be accessible to the general public because of weight capacity issues. This area will be restricted to media, staff and guest pass-holders.

The upper deck area behind the Watts Federal Building is limited to 350 people because of weight capacity issues. Public access will be monitored in that area based on the aforementioned capacity.

 

Will there be a ceremony before the implosion?

There will be brief remarks prior to the implosion. The short ceremony will be on the deck area between the Watts Federal Building and the YMCA. It will begin at 1 p.m. and conclude at 1:15 p.m.

 

Will I be able to view the implosion from Fort Hill or River View Parks?

No. Both parks will be closed as they are within the exclusion zone.

 

Are drones allowed?

The only restriction from the demolition company perspective is drones need to be at least 300 feet away from the building so as not to interfere with the implosion. Drone operators will need to abide by the local, state or federal regulations governing drone usage.

 

What if my drone gets dust in it or is hit by debris?

Dust will interfere with GPS. All drone operators will operate their drone at their own risk.

 

Will there be some sort of sound warning before the implosion?

The implosion is to happen at 1:30 p.m. There will be two 2-second long auditory warning sirens indicating 2-minutes to blast. At 1-minute to blast, there will be one 2-second long auditory warning siren. The countdown will begin 10 seconds out.

 

How long with the implosion take?

The actual implosion will occur in less than 30 seconds. There will be some nearby roadways temporarily closed beginning no later than 12:30 p.m. They will be reopened once the all clear sign is given, which should be approximately 15 minutes after the implosion. As soon as details on street closures are finalized, this information will be shared.

 

How big is the exclusion zone? Why is it the size that it is?

The exclusion zone is approximately a 700-foot square buffer on all sides of the tower. This zone will be off limits to everyone on the day of the implosion.

One reason for the size of the exclusion zone is for noise purposes, especially given that the explosives will be above ground in the building. Staying further than 700 feet away will insure that people are not subjected to high noise levels that might cause injury. For homeowners within the zone and hotel occupants, they will be required to stay indoors during the blast for noise purposes.

The other reason for the size of the exclusion zone is debris from the implosion. It is expected for the debris to be contained in the space bounded by Wilkinson Blvd, Hill Street, St. Clair and Mero Street—all of which are well within the exclusion zone.

 

How much dust will there be?

The Capital Plaza Tower is a pre-cast concrete structure. These materials do not fully disintegrate to the same small particle size as say, a brick masonry building. Concrete dust is heavier and generally does not travel the same distances prior to falling out of the air. Additionally, many of the dust generating materials such as acoustical ceiling tile, pipe insulation, wood paneling and doors, carpeting, drywall, asbestos containing materials, etc. have all been removed. Again, dust is the unavoidable byproduct of all types of demolition—so there will be dust. How much dust will be generated is unknown. Wind direction, speed and other climate factors will impact how far dust may travel or how fast it settles.

The quantity of dust created throughout this demolition process is the same as would be created by conventional demolition. The advantage of implosion is that the dust is created at one, predetermined time. It is not present over an extended period of time.

 

Should people take precautions regarding dust?

If an individual has respiratory issues that would be aggravated by dust, then stay indoors during the demolition and immediately after. If anyone finds dust irritating or uncomfortable, then they will need to determine what type of personal precautions to take. Or, they can decide to stay home and watch the implosion on TV or on Facebook.

 

Do vents need to be shut off because of the dust?

While debris will be contained within the zone, dust from the implosion presents the main unknown as it is the unavoidable byproduct of all types of demolition. How far the dust travels will depend on wind speed and direction that day. To help lessen the dust, for the last several months, the demolition contractor has been removing the majority of dust producing materials from the building such as drywall, plaster, ceramic tile, and carpet. Also, all hazardous building materials such as asbestos containing materials have been removed during the pre-implosion demolition process.

In most implosion projects of this nature, the majority of dust should settle down within 15-30 minutes—again, depending on wind speed and direction. If it is raining, this will calm the dust down much more quickly. Air vents do not need to be shut off. However, if a homeowner will feel better by turning their heating or a/c off, then that is certainly their choice.

 

How long will the dust cleanup take?

The dust clean-up time depends on weather conditions at the time of the implosion. After workmen have been cleared to enter the area, dust cleanup will immediately begin. Adequate crews and equipment will be on site to implement this process. The outermost perimeters will be cleaned first working inward to the areas that experienced the largest concentration of dust. This is done so that the largest portion of streets and residents can return to normal activities as soon as possible.

 

What company is doing the demolition work?

Renascent Inc. is the demolition contractor for the project. They have contracted with Controlled Demolition Inc. (CDI) for the actual implosion of the tower. CDI has tremendous experience in doing this type of work all over the world having imploded more than 8,000 structures during the company’s 67-year history. In fact, CDI was the main demolition contractor for the Commonwealth Building, a 24-story, structural steel office building similar to the Capital Plaza Tower, located at 745 West Main Street in Louisville. The Commonwealth Building, situated only 20 feet from the brand new headquarters of the Commonwealth Insurance Company, was successfully imploded on January 16, 1994 without incident.

 

What rules and regulations do the demolition company have follow?

There are many rules and regulations that must be followed and many local, state and federal agencies have oversight of some aspect of the process. To say this project has been reviewed and scrutinized by all the applicable agencies is an understatement. The demolition company has submitted permit applications and provided a huge amount of documentation in order to receive permission for all sorts of actions.

 

Won’t the implosion create major vibrations?

Because the implosion is specifically designed for the energy to go inward and to minimize vibration, the tower will “curl” as it falls, which will soften the impact as the building comes down. The ground vibration is from the impact of the structure with the ground, not the explosives. The contractor is preparing a “building pad” in the area where the building is expected to impact the ground, which will serve to additionally soften the impact and cause the seismic vibration to not be transferred to the bedrock below. The physical feeling of the vibration is difficult to quantify because of the uniqueness of each project. However, some describe the feeling is similar to standing next to a fast moving train or a thunderstorm.

 

How will I know vibrations won’t harm my house?

There are many federal and state regulations that CDI must comply with. For regulatory purposes, and to document any pre-implosion damage that exists in a structure and to document any alleged damage post-implosion, CDI is required to have the independent geotechnical consultant inspect all structures within the exclusion zone and document its findings. Copies of these pre-blast and post-blast surveys of properties will be reviewed by representatives from the Finance Cabinet’s Division of Engineering and will be provided to each property owner whose property is surveyed.

We anticipate the debris impact will cause little or no vibration to nearby structures. The independent third-party engineering consultant specializes in seismic monitoring and will measure ground vibration levels on the day of the event to verify the implosion went as planned. These values will be compared to the U.S. Bureau of Mines vibration criteria for residential/commercial structures.

In the highly unlikely event should damage from the implosion occur, CDI will be liable and will be required to repair that damage.

 

Will I have to leave my home? If so, when?

Safety is the number one consideration of all workers and people. Nearby residents and hotel guests must remain indoors from 45-minutes prior to the implosion to approximately 15-minutes following the implosion. The purpose of this shelter indoors requirement is to protect persons from sound vibration that could potentially cause injuries. By staying indoors, with windows and doors closed, there is no potential problem. Should residents or hotel guests wish to leave, they will need to do so at least an hour prior to the implosion. In the 7-10 days prior to March 11, CDI will meet with nearby building owners to inform them of the procedures that will be in place on the day of the implosion and to answer any questions they may have.

 

What should I do about pets?

If you have pets and are in the exclusion zone, they should be sheltered indoors to insure they do not go near where the debris will be falling. If your pets are typically unsettled by thunder or other loud noises, then you may want to take precautions as you normally would during a storm.

 

What should property owners near but outside the exclusion zone do to protect their homes?

Should homeowners have items they feel need extra protection, whether inside or near the outside of the exclusion zone, then they will need to determine what precautions they want to take. For example, the Kentucky Historical Society, which has responsibility for items in the Thomas D. Clark Center for Kentucky History and the Old State Capitol, has protected anything that a strong vibration could potentially damage. However, the Kentucky Historical Society is comfortable that these facilities are located safely outside of the exclusion zone and should not experience any negative effects from vibrations or shock waves. Although the KHS buildings are outside the exclusion zone, they will change building air filters as a precautionary measure.

Again, because the implosion is specifically designed for the energy to go inward and to minimize vibration, the tower will “curl” as it falls, which will soften the impact as the building comes down. The ground vibration is from the impact of the structure with the ground, not the explosives. The physical feeling of the vibration is difficult to quantify because of the uniqueness of each project. However, some describe the feeling is similar to standing next to a fast moving train or a thunderstorm.

 

How strong do vibrations have to be to cause damage to paint, plaster or other things such as sidewalks?

The strength of vibrations is measured in inches per second (ips). On average, loosening of paint, plaster cracks, or lengthening old cracks, would occur at 5-6 ips. This implosion will generate at or below 0.5 ips, which is one quarter of the strength of vibrations that would cause damage.

Again, the implosion demolition industry has a successful record of bringing buildings down in close proximity to other structures. In many projects, the buildings demolished are located very close to structures, which are to remain. The closest structure to the tower, the Capital Plaza Hotel, is more than 400 feet away, an ample distance to reduce/eliminate the risk of damage to adjacent properties.

While specific site conditions and subsurface conditions are all unique, below is a chart showing a generally accepted comparison of vibrational impacts of implosions on structures such as buildings and bridges as well as utilities. The chart shows how strong the vibrations would need to be to cause damage if something is in the exclusion zone or outside the zone.

 

I’ve heard there is the potential for ground water contamination from the explosives. Is that a possibility?

That is unfounded. Consider that every bit of rock blasted to create aggregate for concrete, metal ore that is mined for production of different metal products, coal that is blasted and other material generated through blasting operations in the U.S and…worldwide…would be contaminated, which is simply not the case.

 

What has been the experience of similar urban locations with buildings imploded close by?

The implosion demolition industry has a successful record of bringing buildings down in close proximity to other structures. In many projects, the buildings demolished are located very close to structures, which are to remain. The closest structure to the tower, the Capital Plaza Hotel, is more than 400 feet away, an ample distance to reduce/eliminate the risk of damage to adjacent properties.

 

FPB eyes future savings

KyMEA projects more than $7 million in savings next year

Big savings are on the horizon for the Frankfort Plant Board. At FPB’s monthly meeting Tuesday night, Doug Buresh, CEO of the Kentucky Municipal Energy Agency (KyMEA), discussed KyMEA’s projected electric rates and subsequent savings FPB could realize next year. Buresh reported that KyMEA estimates that FPB stands to save $6.3 million next year through its contract with KyMEA compared to its current contract with Kentucky Utilities (KU).

Buresh noted that FPB could also save another $800,000 annually by integrating FPB’s SEPA entitlement with KyMEA for 10 years. This would allow KyMEA to sell energy and capacity from Southeastern Power Administration’s hydropower projects on FPB’s behalf.

Buresh also presented information to the board concerning the Public Utilities Regulatory Policy Act (PURPA). As part of the National Energy Act passed in 1978, PURPA was passed in response to the energy crisis of the time. It was enacted to promote energy efficiency in order to reduce demand.

As a member of KyMEA, FPB has the option to approve a Joint PURPA Implementation Plan that would pass FPB’s PURPA purchase obligations to KyMEA. The board voted to delay this vote until next month’s meeting.

The board also voted to delay a final decision on FPB’s SEPA entitlement transfer to KyMEA until next month.

In January, the Frankfort Plant Board held a public hearing to discuss cable rate increases due to exponential increases from broadcasters for retransmission charges. FPB staff negotiated retransmission rates for all of the Lexington stations, (WTVQ, WKYT, WLEX and WDKY), the Louisville CBS affiliate (WLKY), the Louisville ABC affiliate (WHAS) and bringing back Louisville’s WDRB for its top-rated local news coverage.

After receiving one public comment after last month’s public hearing, the board gave final approval on the proposed rate change. Considering the increased rates would not go into effect until March, this change will raise the existing retransmission fees from $12.03 per month to $16.39 per month. The board tabled a vote to approve an increase in multi-service discounts until next month.

The board voted to amend an FPB frozen pension plan that will allow FPB to purchase individual annuities or arrange for lump sum distribution to the five participants in the plan.

In other business, the board approved a new accounting policy for obsolete inventory, approved costs for the repair of a vertical turbine raw water pump and awarded a contract to Herrick Company, Inc. for a high service pump station valve replacement project at the water treatment plant, and awarded a contract to Brownstown Electric Supply Company for a pad mounted transformer.

The FPB Board of Directors’ next monthly meeting will be Tuesday, March 20, 2018 at 5 p.m. at the FPB administration building at 151 Flynn Ave in Frankfort.

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Boil Water Advisory lifted for Walter Todd area

The Water Department of the Frankfort Plant Board is notifying you that the Division of Water of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection has now canceled the Boil Water Advisory.

This Advisory was issued 2/20/18 due to the loss of pressure in the water main causedby Plant Board crews tying in the new water main.

The streets affected were:

• 901 to 909 Leestown Ln.

• Rosewood Ln.

• Redbud Ln.

• Cherry Dr.

• Greenbriar Ln.

• 106 to 590 Walter Todd Dr.

If you should have any questions or problems with normal service or water quality please call 352-4372.

Water Service Interruption and Boil Water Advisory - Walter Todd Area

The water will be turned off at 10:30 am, in the following areas in order to tie in the new water main. 

• 901 to 909 Leestown Ln

• Rosewood Ln

• Redbud Ln

• Cherry Dr

• Greenbriar Ln

• 106 to 590 Walter Todd Dr

A boil water advisory has been issued for the outage. The Water Department of the Frankfort Plant Board advises to boil the water before drinking or using it for cooking.

A vigorous boil for at least two minutes is recommended. This Boil Water Advisory is a precautionary measure due to a loss of pressure in the water main caused by Plant Board crews tying in the new water main.

This Advisory will remain in effect until lab analysis of water samples taken confirms that the potable water supply in the effected area is safe to drink. You will receive a notice when this advisory is lifted.

If you have any questions concerning the Boil Water Advisory please call 352-4372.

Boil Water Advisories lifted for McCracken Pike and Duncan Road

The Water Department of the Frankfort Plant Board is notifying you that the Division of Water of the Kentucky Department for Environmental Protection has now cancelled the Boil Water Advisory.

This Advisory was issued due to the loss of pressure in the water main caused by Plant Board crews repairing a water main break.

The streets affected were:

 - 1440 to 2060 Duncan Rd

 - 3675 to 4060 McCracken Pk

If you should have any questions or problems with normal service or water quality please call 352-4372. 

Water interruption and Boil Water Advisory in effect for Duncan Rd.

Water service has been interrupted on Duncan Rd. In order to make repairs on a water main break. The Water Department of the Frankfort Plant Board advises to boil the water before drinking or using it for cooking. The advisory is in effect for the following area:

• 1440 to 2060 Duncan Rd

A vigorous boil for at least two minutes is recommended. This Boil Water Advisory is a precautionary measure due to a loss of pressure in the water main caused by Plant Board crews repairing a water main break.

This Advisory will remain in effect until lab analysis of water samples taken confirms that the potable water supply in the effected area is safe to drink. You will receive a notice when this advisory is lifted.

If you have any questions concerning the Boil Water Advisory please call 352-4372.

Water interruption and Boil Water Advisory for McCracken Pike

Water service has been interrupted on McCracken Pike in order to repair a water main break. Once restored, the Water Department of the Frankfort Plant Board advises to boil the water before drinking or using it for cooking. The advisory is in effect for the following area:

• 3675 to 4060 McCracken Pk

A vigorous boil for at least two minutes is recommended. This Boil Water Advisory is a precautionary measure due to a loss of pressure in the water main causedby Plant Board crews repairing a damaged water main.

This Advisory will remain in effect until lab analysis of water samples taken confirms that the potable water supply in the effected area is safe to drink. You will receive a notice when this advisory is lifted.

If you have any questions concerning the Boil Water Advisory please call 352-4372.

PSC issues statement, cold weather causing higher electric bills

The Public Service Commission today released a statement indicating cold weather has led to sharply higher electric bills for customers across the state. 

The National Weather Service (NWS) measure that tracks the need for home heating was, in December, about 75 percent higher than in November. January heating demand was up another 14 percent over December, or roughly double that in November.

The PSC also offered information for consumers on coping with home heating costs. This includes:

Budget billing: This option allows customers to pay the same amount each month, based on their average monthly usage during the year. Customers should contact their utility for more information.

Energy conservation measures: Simple steps such as turning down thermostats on furnaces (most people are comfortable at 68 degrees) and water heaters (120 degrees is hot enough for nearly all uses) can be big energy savers.

Weatherization: Consumers can do a number of things to reduce inflows of cold air and leakage of warm air, particularly around windows and doors. Some basic weatherization steps include:
• Use caulk or weatherstripping to seal cracks around windows, doors, pipes and other points where cold air can enter the home. This alone can reduce heating costs by 10 percent or more.
• Install energy-efficient doors and windows.
• Add insulation in attics, crawl spaces and walls.
• Cover windows, especially those with single-pane glass, with storm windows or plastic sheeting before the onset of cold weather.
• Clean or replace furnace filters monthly to improve airflow and efficiency.

Advice on conserving energy, including links to a wide range of information, also is available from the Kentucky Division of Efficiency and Conservation on the Web at: http://energy.ky.gov/efficiency/.

General information on energy programs to assist low-income Kentuckians can be found on the Community Action Kentucky website at: http://www.communityactionky.org/energy-assistance.html.

Weatherization assistance for low-income families is available in Kentucky. Many utilities offer weatherization assistance in conjunction with local social service agencies. Local social service agencies also offer assistance through a state program administered by the Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services. For information on weatherization assistance, go to: http://www.communityactionky.org/weatherization.html

Low-income consumers may qualify for assistance with their heating bills through the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). It is administered at the local level by community action agencies. Consumers who do not qualify for LIHEAP may be eligible for assistance through programs sponsored by their utility company or programs operated by local social service organizations. Consumers should contact their utility for more information. Information about LIHEAP is available on the Web at: http://chfs.ky.gov/dcbs/dfs/LIHEAP.htm

Read the full PSC statement here.