Whitesburg KY
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Little Dry Fork is latest area to get good water

Treated water is now available in the Little Dry Fork area. Water Superintendent Tim Reed told the Letcher County Water and Sewer District Board at its June meeting that he has installed several meters in the area. He said four new customers have also been added to the Copperhead Road line in Craft’s Colly.

Reed added that he recently spoke with former Water and Sewer District Director Greg Pridemore, who now works with the United States Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency, about the possibility of securing grant money to pay for running water lines to the homes of people who were part of the Jeremiah/Isom water project. Reed said the hook-ups were supposed to be made at no charge anyway, but the project ran over budget and the free hook-ups could not be provided.

Former Blackey Mayor Mike Dixon and Tracey Hayes, a student at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who is conducting an internship with the District for the summer, spoke to the board about the importance of continuing to address the sewer problem in the Blackey area.

Hayes made a presentation to the board detailing several options for sewer treatment in the area, and the board agreed that the situation needs to be addressed. The Blackey water plant has incurred high treatment costs because of the enormous volume of untreated sewage coming from straight pipes in the area.

Hayes told the board she will forward a complete report to Board Secretary Jackie Joseph as soon as all data is gathered and analyzed. Both Dixon and Hayes said they do not wish to see the board lose its funding for the Blackey Sewage Treatment Plant even if it means delaying the sewer project in favor of moving available funding to a project that currently is more feasible.

District One Magistrate Bobby Lewis attended the meeting and asked about the status of a proposed contract with the Pound, Virginia Water District to furnish water to the Cumberland River area. Board Secretary Joseph shared a draft contact provided by Vaughn and Melton and said it would be forwarded to Letcher County Attorney Harold Bolling. Reed said Bolling had called the attorney for the Pound District, but has not heard back from him.

Board Chairman Phillip “Peewee” Back said the board should give Bolling another week to get in touch with the attorney for the Pound district. Back said if Bolling doesn’t make contact by then the district should hire an attorney to complete the task. Bolling, who played a major role in getting the water and sewer district established, has been working on a voluntary basis for the district in addition to performing his regular duties as Letcher Country Attorney.

Jackie Joseph also gave the board an update on the Coal Trust Project to provide water to homeowners in the Indian Creek/ Campbranch area whose water was damaged by mining. Joseph told the board that to date, $1,216,944.81 has been used for construction, including hookups for the Coal Trust plaintiffs. She said all other funds are available for use at the district’s discretion, but stressed the importance of the district retaining the $132,531 in additional funds to help meet operating costs over the next several months in light of a short budget and low receipts from customers.

Reed told the board that Gary Rogers of the Letcher Fire and Rescue Department had asked about the purchase of a meter to use when drawing water from hydrants for private purposes such as filling swimming pools. The board agreed that it was a good idea and approved the purchase if Rogers is still interested.

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