By WILLIAM A. FARLEY
Local fire departments will no longer be able to fill swimming pools with treated water without paying for it and will also have to tighten up procedures for accounting for the other treated water they use.
At the May meeting of the Board of Directors of the Letcher County Water and Sewer District, Manager Mark Lewis pointed to an announcement that appeared in The Mountain Eagle regarding filling swimming pools, and attributed it to the Kentucky Public Service Commission’s new policy to tighten requirements on non-revenue water distributed by county districts. Lewis said a letter has also been sent to Letcher County Judge/ Executive Terry Adams regarding water use by fire departments.
In other business, Lewis reported that the City of Cumberland recently met with the Kentucky Department of Local Government in regard to funding for line upgrades that might allow it to serve water customers in the Cumberland River area of Letcher County. He said representatives from Cumberland reported the meeting as positive, and said they were instructed to have a purchase agreement for water between the city and the district on file in the event the upgrade was completed. He said Letcher County Attorney Jamie Hatton sent a contract for the purchase of water to Cumberland.
In another matter concerning a water supply for the Cumberland River area, Lewis said he attended a meeting with the Wise County, Va., Water District concerning the possibility of supplying water for customers along Highway 932 at Flat Gap. However, he said the cost would be prohibitive, with Wise County charging $3.50 per 1,000 gallons and a $146,000 buy-in for infrastructure improvements to allow it to pump water to Letcher County.
Lewis said the second round of funding for water grants by Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) will open in June. Bell Engineering has revised the district’s 2018 application for an alternate source of water to supply the county, and will resubmit it.
An updated opinion of the probable cost for Phase III of the Red Star/Turkey Creek Water Project has been forwarded to AML and permitting is being reviewed. The CSX railroad crossing at Carbon Glow was surveyed and a crossing permit has been prepared. Plan sheets are complete, along with specifications and contract documents.
Water line plans are complete for the proposed federal prison at Roxana and the preliminary design for the wastewater plant for the prison is also complete. Copies of each have been sent to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Kentucky Department of Water.
Board member Richard Carter moved to have Water Clerk Nick Hall close out all completed construction projects and transfer leftover funds to the district’s bank account. Carter said the auditor conducting the audit for Fiscal Year 2018- 2019 recommended moving the accounts and the board voted unanimously to approve.