Whitesburg KY

County water district still awaiting ‘alternate source’

Water board meets

The Letcher County Water and Sewer District will have to wait until the next round of funding by Abandoned Mine Lands to find out if an alternative source of water supply will be funded by AML.

At the Water and Sewer Board’s September meeting, Alan Bowman of Bell Engineering reported that only two infrastructure projects had been funded this cycle and the alternate water source was not chosen. The funding was announced at the SOAR meeting held recently in Pikeville.

A meeting with the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency was held September 6 to discuss Performance Partnership

Grants. The grants are 80/20 grant/loans with a cap of $30,000 and the funds could be used to complete the water sampling that is still required for the alternate source of supply. However, Bowman added that traditional funding (in greater amounts) will be required to complete the project. The district filed a 424C application for the PPG grant. In a related matter, a proposal by the Knott County Water District to increase the price it charges Letcher County for water is still under discussion by the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

The board also engaged Whitesburg Accountant Dennis Wayne Fleming to examine its financial records for the recent year. F leming reported that while there are no major problems, there are some discrepancies with liabilities in accounts payable. He said the issues are the result of adjustments that had been suggested in the most recent audit but were not entered into the system, so the audit adjustments are not included in the current accounts.

Fleming said the balances are only slightly off and he will correct the accounts. District Manager Mark Lewis said that Fleming is working with the district on the annual audit as well, and it should be ready by next month.

Bowman also told the board that everything that needs to be provided has been submitted to AML for the projects under consideration, and that no further action is needed from the board. He said AML will fall a little short from last year’s funding totals and the next step will come from AML.

The current projects that await funding from AML are: Phase III of the Red Star/Turkey Creek Project, the Gordon/Highway 510 Project, the Kingscreek Project, and the Millstone Project. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has reviewed the proposed plan to extend water lines into Roxana and provided comments to incorporate into revised plans. Bell Engineering suggested that the board may wish to look into other funding sources as well.

Residual chlorine continues to be a problem during hot weather periods and the district is working with Knott County to get chlorine levels at the master meter raised. An acceptable shortterm fix is being explored, but a more permanent longterm solution will probably need to be incorporated into the next project. The district is still waiting for a contract from Kingdom Coal on how it intends to provide water to residents of Carbon Glow Road to replace the water source that was damaged by mining.

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