Whitesburg KY

County’s water cost returns to normal

The amount the Letcher County Water and Sewer District pays for treated water from the regional water treatment plant at Carr Creek Lake has returned to normal, according to District Manager Mark Lewis.

At their April meeting, Lewis told the district board of directors that a change in the billing cycle last month had added about 10 days to the March cycle, but that with the return to a regular monthly cycle, costs are back to normal, and down by about $20,000. Lewis added that the bill should be even lower in coming months.

Lewis also said that a malfunctioning valve had caused one of the county’s water tanks to flood after an air leak developed and damaged some electronic equipment. He said the contractor that had installed the pump will determine if it is responsible for repairs, which came out at between $15,000 and $20,000. Lewis also said he has contacted the district’s insurance carrier, who will also see if its coverage includes the damage. The Isom community lost water pressure on April 14 due to a pressure-reducing valve malfunction, but the problem has been corrected. A leak in the parking lot of the Sandlick Fire Department has also been repaired that was estimated to lose between 50 and 80 gallons per minute.

In other business, the preliminary engineering report for the water plant to serve Cumberland River residents in Letcher County is now complete and meetings on the matter have been held between representatives of Bell Engineering, which represents the district, district officials, officials of the Kentucky River Area Development District, the Rural Community Assistance Program, U.S. Senator Rand Paul’s office, U.S. Congressman Hal Rogers’s office, and the Letcher County Fiscal Court with the Kentucky Department of Local Government and the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority concerning funding for the plant. The Kentucky Department of Highways also participated and indicated that a temporary transfer of property for the plant site can be done with an encroachment permit while the permanent transfer is being finalized.

Mark Bowman of Bell Engineering also told the board that Abandoned Mine Lands has indicated that Phase II of the Red Star, Ulvah, Hallie, and Turkey Creek Project will need to be separated into at least two phases for funding purposes, and said that Bell is working with AML to determine funding limits of each phase. Bowman added that presently, AML is short on personnel, which is slowing the work. He also said water lines for the Bull Creek Phase II project have been completed, and praised project contractor Greg Hale LLC, which he said did a very good job and finished the work in a timely manner. The shortage of AML personnel has also delayed a study on Phase II of the Millstone Water Project.

Pressure information for the Scuttle Hole Gap project has been gathered and available data shows that there is about 100 pounds of pressure, which should be sufficient to get water about 200 feet up the hill before additional pumping is required. At a public meeting held to discuss the proposed Roxana federal prison, plans for the prison site were reduced slightly and the access route was also changed. Bowman said a decision from the Bureau of Prisons will probably be handed down in August.

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