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Knott wants more money for water it sends to Letcher


The Board of Directors of the Letcher County Water and Sewer District has been advised to file an application with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to determine if the Knott County Water District has unlawfully terminated its agreement to provide water to the Letcher County District, and if $3 per 1,000 gallons is the lawful rate. That is, if $3 per 1,000 gallons is the contractually approved rate to purchase treated water.

At the Board’s January meeting, Attorney Gerald E. Wuetcher of Stoll, Keenon, and Ogden PLLC of Lexington and Louisville emerged from an executive session with board members and advised them to file the application with the Kentucky Public Service Commission.

The board agreed and asked Wuetcher to file a declaratory order with the Kentucky Public Service Commission to address the rate question and the overall agreement with Knott County. District Manager Mark Lewis said the district will continue to purchase water from Knott County, Jenkins, and the City of Whitesburg.

In answer to a question from The Mountain Eagle, District Manager Lewis said that while the Letcher County District is still getting its water from the same entities that have supplied it since it began purchasing water from Knott County, the Knott County District wants more money. Letcher County has purchased much of its water from Knott County through interconnecting lines beginning in 2011 when the first interconnect was complete.

Earlier in the meeting, Lewis also reported that there were some questions concerning readings from the master meter that records the amount of water purchased from the Knott County District. However, he later reported that the questions had risen regarding the time the meter was read, which Lewis said was later than usual.

The meeting was held in the newly remodeled offices of the water district. The building is the former site of Standard Labs, a laboratory that conducted testing for coal ash. Most of the remodeling and the work to convert the building had been done by district employees, and Board Member Richard Carter complimented Lewis and his staff for the job they did.

In other business, Alan Bowman of Bell Engineering reported there is no new information from the Federal Bureau of Prisons (FBP) regarding the placement of water lines for the federal prison at Roxana. Bowman said Bell Engineering and the district anticipate the submittal of plans for primary lines from the Kentucky Department of Water within the next month. There was also no further information from the FBP regarding the wastewater treatment plant at Roxana.

The Abandoned Mine Lands study regarding water line development for the Gordon/Highway 510 area is now complete and an opinion of probable cost has been forwarded to AML. A request is being put together for a wholesale purchase to support the extension and an alternative source is being considered as a secondary source to supply water for the area.

The AML study to determine eligibility for lines in Kingscreek is complete and an updated opinion of probable cost has been forwarded to AML. The study for the Millstone Water Project is also complete and has been forwarded to AML as well. The Kentucky Department of Water has agreed to a district request to allow the district to suspend monthly sampling and resume sampling quarterly for the Millstone Sewer System.

The pressure recorder that was installed on lines along Route 15 will be removed next week and the data will be downloaded. The recorder will be reinstalled at a different site along the water main upon completion of the download for more information. Quotes for a 12-month sampling project for an alternative water supply for the Red Star area have been obtained from three separate suppliers, and funding scenarios are being explored to cover the associated cost, including preliminary work and sampling. AML is reviewing a possible NEXUS request for funding the work and the district will also inquire with the DOW about the project. The district will select a laboratory testing plan and Bell will finalize the preliminary engineering report for the project.

An updated opinion about probable cost has also been forwarded to AML at its request for Phase III of the Red Star/Turkey Creek water project. Bell Engineering is preparing bid documents and preparing to submit final plans.

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