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Firm says city slow in paying water bill



Ongoing problems with collecting from delinquent water customers and slow deliberations by the Kentucky Public Service Commission have caused the City of Whitesburg to fall behind in paying an outstanding debt to Veolia Water.

Veolia representative John Stallard told the Whitesburg City Council at its November meeting the city has fallen behind and asked how the matter can be addressed. Stallard said he knows that collections are down and asked to have a third party, preferably an engineering firm, to look at the rate increases the city has proposed to the Kentucky Public Service Commission on water sold to the Letcher County Water and Sewer District.

Whitesburg Mayor James Wiley Craft told Stallard there are delinquencies he hopes will be collected soon. Craft also asked that Stallard bring more concrete figures on the amount owed to Veolia to the council’s December meeting.

In other business, Paul Nesbitt, of Nesbitt Engineering, said that given the present mood of Congress, some of the federal money the city has been seeking for several ongoing projects may not be included in line item funding but said more information will be available when the federal budget is presented. He said the Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises in Berea has advertised for a feasibility study on the restoration of the Daniel Boone Hotel, and he expects to have more information on that project soon. Nesbitt also said there are some problems with funding limits for the Mayking Sewer Project.

Brett Fisher, of Summitt Engineering, reported that plans for the Walmart Sewer Lift Station are ready to go to the Kentucky Division of Water. Fisher said Summitt has received bids on the water line enhancement and extension for the county recreation center and that a problem with a water meter and line running under the center will be addressed. He added that the county’s engineers had been told that the line ran under the site before construction on the center began.

In the Mayor’s Report, Craft congratulated the council and city workers on putting on a successful Halloween Safe Night and said the city served approximately 1,000 children.

The council voted to give each city employee a $20 gift certificate to Food City for Thanksgiving. Craft said the Christmas Parade will be held on December 10 at 5 p.m., with the theme “Christmas in Our Hometown.” He said the Kids Celebration will be held at the city parking lot by the James Bates Pedestrian Bridge. Craft asked participants in the parade to assemble at 4:30 p.m. on December 10 at Everidge Funeral Home.


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