As of the end of July, Letcher County has slightly under 1 million feet of water line in the ground, serving more than 3,200 customers. At the August meeting of the Board of Directors of the Letcher County Water and Sewer District, Bell Engineering reported that 986,910 linear feet of water line are currently installed, which includes 30,989 feet installed in July. Several other projects are getting ready to either go on-line or go to bid before the end of the year.
The mainline segment of line in the Shelby Fork area of Deane is in the ground and has been tested and meters have been set. However, although Bell Engineering has been in constant contact with representatives of CSX Railroad in an effort to expedite the issuance of the permit to cross CSX right of way to install other lines for more than two months, little progress has been made and it still doesn’t have the necessary easements and permits to bore lines beneath railroad tracks.
Jamie Noe of Bell Engineering said the permit application has been assigned to eight different CSX representatives during the review process. Bell Engineering received a letter from CSX to the effect that the permit would be processed in July, but as of August 15, no action has been taken. The tank and pump station sites have been purchased for Deane Phase III and the final bid package has been assembled. The board voted unanimously to authorize bidding Phase III.
The original contract for the tank and line installation for Phase I of the Pert Creek/Pine Creek/Cram Creek Project is complete and a pump station has been ordered for Change Order One to extend lines to side roads. Bell is reviewing the plans to extend lines to as many as four side roads with funds that were allocated but not spent. The planned delivery date for the pump station is November 5.
Construction began on June 24 to extend lines from Cram Creek to connect with the Thornton waterlines at Sergent, and is now complete. Seventeen new customers could be added and lines are being pressure tested and disinfected. Phase II of the Pert Creek/Pine Creek/Cram Creek project has been approved by the Kentucky Division of Water and Bell Engineering is working with Abandoned Mine Lands to secure authorization to bid the project.
All water lines have now been installed in Phase II of the Payne Gap Water Improvements Project, according to District Manager Mark Lewis, and the tank to supply water from Jenkins to the Payne Gap customers is complete as well. Testing of lines installed during Phase II is scheduled. The district will need to run about 100 feet of line to connect lines from the tank to county lines.
The project design for the Millstone Sewer Project is complete and has been submitted to the Kentucky Division of Water, along with a revised Corrective Action Plan. Lines are in the ground and meters installed in Phase I of the Bull and Elk Creek Project
Cumberland Pipeline, the contractor for the Red Star/Ulvah/Hallie project, advised Bell Engineering that Mountain Enterprises has completed the paving of Route 7. The district still holds $134,59.20 in retainage fees against the completion of the work to the satisfaction of the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and Cumberland Pipeline has been notified that it will have to submit a release from the Cabinet in order to get the funds released.
Construction on Phase II of the Premium Water Project is ongoing. All the main line along Highway 160 is complete and the contractor will has set 60 percent of the meters included in the project. A preconstruction meeting for the Millstone Water Project was held on August 13 and the contractor was given notice to proceed with construction.
Superintendent Mark Lewis reported that a pump motor burned up at a pump station on Sandlick, and district workers have repaired several leaks including one large one. Jennifer McIntosh of the Kentucky River Area Development District asked the board to authorize Chairman Bernard Watts to enter into an agreement with the Department of Local Government to accept $165,000 for debt service from coal severance tax receipts. The district will be able to draw the funds down as they are needed. Approval was unanimous.
The board also voted unanimously to adopt the Letcher County Personnel Policy, with the exception of paying employees every second Friday. District workers will continue to be paid every second Wednesday.
Several projects failed to receive funding and Bell Engineering is currently seeking other resources for them. These include the Interconnect between Letcher County lines and those belonging to the City of Hazard, and extending lines to Loggy Hollow and the Cumberland River area from the Virginia state line of Kentucky 932 to US 119. Several other projects currently await final word from AML as to whether they will receive funding. Those include Phase II of Red Star/ Ulvah/Hallie and Turkey Creek, the side roads in Big Cowan, and the Gordon/ Highway 510 Water Improvements Project.