Ongoing issues with the City of Cumberland and Wise County continue to prevent the location of a water source for Letcher County citizens living in the Cumberland River area. Water District Superintendent Tim Reed told the Letcher County Water and Sewer District Board of Directors at its August meeting that the district’s request to speak to the Wise County Water District had not been placed on the Wise District’s meeting agenda and that the City of Cumberland is no closer to a solution either.
Reed said he had spoken to representatives of the Kentucky River Area Development District who said they would speak to their counterparts in the Cumberland River District to see if they would help with the impasse.
The board also heard a request from Ann Adams and Mark Bailey, who live in Polly Branch near the Mayking Loop. Adams told the board that Whitesburg city water lines run up the hollow but not further up the hill where there are eight houses without water service. She said the homes depend on a common well, which is not sufficient to meet their needs. She and Bailey asked if the board would help them get lines extended up to the last house, which would be several hundred yards beyond the point the city lines end.
Adams said the problem the city faced when lines were put in was that a pump station would have to be built at a high cost to get water up the hill. However, she said Bailey has since purchased a large tract of land and lines could be run through it that would eliminate most of the steep grade. Board Chair Phillip “Pee Wee” Back told Adams the lines belong to the City of Whitesburg and it is the one which should extend them, but asked Reed to speak with Todd Adams of Veolia Water, which handles water and sewer for Whitesburg, and see if a solution could be worked out and the board agreed to support the request.
Jamie Noe of Bell Engineering reported that the Kentucky Department of Highways’ legal department has obtained rightof way entry to a contested piece of property on Copperhead Road so a permanent water line can be installed along with a state bridge. Bell is working with the bridge contractor and Abandoned Mine Lands to get the line installed.
Noe told the board a 60-day extension has been granted to the contractor on the Knott County Interconnect Project and construction continues. The Garner Mountain and Loggy Hollow Water Improvement Projects have been approved for construction by the Kentucky Department of Water. She said everything is in place at Garner Mountain and construction can begin at the district’s directive. Akins Construction, the contractor for Loggy Hollow, has agreed to perform construction at the same price it charged for installing lines at Little Dry Fork.
The Premium/Highway 160 Water Project has been awarded to Stotts Construction of London and Noe said she is hopeful that a submittal to the Kentucky Public Service Commission will be approved soon. Ronnie Mullins and Sons Inc. submitted the low bid for Phase I of the Thornton Water Improvement Project at $214,832.25 and the intent is to begin construction within 30 days.
Cumberland Pipeline was awarded the bid for the Red Star, Ulvah, Hallie Project at $1,198,512.50 and it also intends to begin construction within 30 days. AML has advised Bell Engineering that funding for the Pine Creek, Pert Creek, Cram Creek and Bull Creek and Carcassonne Projects will be available in 2011. Board Chair Back asked if the projects shouldn’t be separated due to the distance between them, but Noe said the AML study for both projects had been done at the same time and that AML lists them together. She said that would not affect funding, which will be separate for the two projects. AML will also fund the Deane/Beaver Gap Project in 2011.
In the Superintendent’s Report, Tim Reed told the board that water losses for May, June, and April had come in and while May wasn’t bad, the district had lost $4,600 due to leaks in April and $6,700 in June. He said that flow meters to help identify leaks would cost about $6,000.
Board members discussed ways to get the routes district workers follow to read meters into more manageable order. The routes were originally set up as lines were laid, but now that a number of lines are in service, they don’t follow the most efficient pattern. Board member Bernard Watts said the district’s map is equally disorganized and needs to be redone to simplify the routes. The board voted to ask the map software vendor to send in someone to work with district personnel to rectify the problem.
The board voted unanimously to direct Secretary Tiff any Collins to obtain a credit card for district travel expenses. The card will be used for travel, reservations, etc. Collins said that at present, district personnel who travel on business have to use their own cards for reservations and pay their own expenses, which mean the board has to write a check to private individuals to reimburse them for expenses.