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Payne Gap line to serve 181

Access to clean drinking water will soon be available to 181 households in Letcher County.

The Department for Natural Resources’ (DNR) Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) announced this week the award of contract and the start of construction for phase one of the Payne Gap-Kona water supply project.

“I am pleased AML is providing the citizens of Mayking and Payne Gap with access to a clean, safe water supply. Abating the hazards of the Commonwealth’s water supply negatively affected by past coal mining is one of the many rewarding services the department provides for our citizens,” said DNR acting Commissioner Larry Arnett.

AML has found that pre- 1982 mining has impacted much of the groundwater in the communities from Mayking to Payne Gap in northeastern Letcher County, making the entire area eligible for AML waterline assistance.

The project, with a memorandum of agreement between the Jenkins Water and Sewer District and AML, totals $800,000 with the remainder of funding provided by Letcher County’s coal severance funds. The project will be operated by the city of Jenkins. Akins Excavating of Corbin was awarded the contract with a low bid amount of $1,213,502.50. Nesbitt Engineering, Inc. of Lexington provided engineering services. The entire project will involve the construction of a water supply system with rehabilitation to the existing booster pump station, pressure reducing vaults, master meter, and various diameters and lengths of water main.

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