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$1.5 million will start sewer work, judge announces

The Letcher County Water and Sewer District has secured $1,532,800 in grants to pay for sewer line extensions at Craft’s Colley and Dry Fork.

Letcher County Judge/Executive Jim Ward announced the receipt of the funding during the Letcher Fiscal Court’s September meeting this week. He said that as the county nears its goal of making treated water available to all residents of Letcher County, it is now time to start looking at other sources of funding to provide sewage treatment for all county residents as well. The Craft’s Colly and Dry Fork line extensions will be the first steps in the effort, he said.

Meanwhile, District Two Magistrate

Terry Adams praised the Water and Sewer District for its work and said that as of now, water line extensions are complete in the second district. Both Adams and Ward urged residents of the Second District to contact the Water and Sewer District and sign up to receive treated water.

Ward also said that the water lines from Deane will allow the Fleming- Neon Water Department to buy water from the county in the event of a line break or water shortage.

Monday night’s meeting was the court’s shortest regular meeting in recent memory, lasting only 38 minutes. The court also approved new operating rules for Fishpond Lake and learned that revenues from coal and mineral severance taxes are up slightly.

Ward said the county’s share of coal severance tax funds for the last quarter are up around $50,000 while taxes on natural gas and oil increased by $192,000. While it doesn’t make up for the more than $3-million reduction in severance tax revenues the county has seen over the last few years, Ward said it is an improvement and will “really help.”

Ward noted that the county has $1.6 million carried over from the last fiscal year, which ended June 30, and praised county employees and supervisors for helping save the money.

The court also voted unanimously to approve new operating rules for Fishpond Lake Park, mostly to accommodate visitors expected to take advantage of improvements in the park. Improvements include new sites for recreational vehicles, complete with water and electrical hookups. Ward said the county is currently getting price estimates on installing electrical outlets, running water, and methods of collecting waste from RVs, and should be able to move forward on construction soon.

The rules for camping at Fishpond Lake mandate a check-in time between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., with checkout time promptly at noon. A recreational vehicle site with electrical and water service and sewage disposal via dump station will cost $25 per night. Maximum stay is limited to 14 days in any 30-day period, and quiet hours will be observed between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. daily. Parents are responsible for their children at all times; alcohol and firearms regulations will be in compliance with Kentucky Revised Statutes. Discharge of any waste material, including gray water, is prohibited, and washing vehicles, campers, ATVs or other equipment is prohibited as well. Fires will be permitted only in fire rings and must be contained in the rings. Pets must be kept on a leash at all times and tent camping is permitted in designated areas adjacent to RV campsites. Campers are asked to put their trash in designated dumpsters and will be held responsible for cleaning up their campsite.

In other business, the court also voted unanimously to approve an agreement between the county and the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet that allows Letcher County to receive $295,000 in road funds from the state for resurfacing roads that have been accepted into the county road system.

District Four Magistrate Keith Adams thanked county workers for restoring the road in Doty Creek, which he said was hit hard by flooding last week. Ward said he was raised on Doty Creek and as far back as he could remember the water had never been so high there.

In other business addressed by the court:

• Ward reported that the two Mack trucks the county returned on a lease program were sold for $152,500 and $150,000, against a cost to the county of $47,676. The county’s portion of the refund was $36,102.50.

• The Letcher County Library Board set its tax rates for the coming year at 9.4 cents per $100.00 for real property and 9.53 cents per $100.00 for personal property.

• The court voted unanimously to name Town Hill Road at the intersection of Highway 2035 in Little Cowan in memory of both Master Sergeant Elmer Eugene Palmer, United States Air Force, and for Airman First Class Edison Glenn Banks Sr., United States Air Force, Strategic Air Command.

• Letcher County Tourism Commission Chairman David Narramore announced that Destin Kincer, Miss Kentucky USA, 2014, and Dr. Shelba Jean Profitt, of the United States Air, Space, and Missile Defense Command Distinguished Civilian Wall Of Honor, will serve as Grand Marshals of the Mountain Heritage Festival Parade for 2014. The theme of the parade will be “Letcher County, Where the Highest of Dreams Begin.”

Bank Balances for County Agencies:

• General Fund — $234,504.47

• Road and Bridge Fund — $1,059,017.29

• Jail Fund — $154,023.22

• LGEA Fund — $477,981.83

• Senior Citizens Fund — $85,825.28

• Forestry Fund — $13,873.33

• Letcher County Public Courthouse Corp. Funded Depreciation Reserve Account — $424,340.36

• Letcher County Public Courthouse Corp. Debt Service — $84,171.12

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