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Water board to use phone alerts



The Letcher County Water and Sewer District will now be able to access the same notification system the Letcher Fiscal Court and other county offices use to notify their customers about specific information concerning their water.

Board Chairman Bernard Watts said that future notifications about water issues will go out on the county’s “Code Red” system. Customers who want to be added to the call system should notify the district office or visit the district’s Facebook page or website at LCWSDIST.COM.

The move comes after the district was forced to mail notices to all of its customers concerning recent violations in water quality.

In other business at its meeting held last week, District Manager Mark Lewis reported that a rate study discussed at last month’s board meeting is underway, and the Rural Community Assistance Project has sent representatives for a site visit to collect data for the analysis. He added that a rough draft of the 2015 audit is ready, and once the further information is added, it will be submitted to the Public Service Commission.

Lewis also reported that some damage was done to the Millstone Sewer Treatment Plant as the result of an accident that occurred in March 2016, and that the District has been contacted by the insurance adjuster and they expect to receive a check to cover the cost of the repairs soon. Little Cowan recently was on a boil water advisory, but the tank levels there have been adjusted and increased demand in the area has allowed the district to lift the advisory.

Alan Bowman of Bell Engineering reported that an Abandoned Mine Lands Pilot application is being finalized and will be submitted on August 1 as part of a proposal to develop a water treatment facility for the Cumberland River area. Bowman said the Pilot Grant is part of an expanded AML funding program that is part of a federal initiative to target areas that have been economically disadvantaged due to the loss of coal mining jobs.

According to information on the Kentucky AML website, up to $30 million in federal grant money has been set aside to create projects that will attract full-time, sustainable jobs into Appalachian counties. The Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands and Kentucky Cabinet for Economic Development is seeking economic and community development proposals for projects that will turn abandoned mine lands into economic development generators, creating new industries and jobs to replace those lost in the downturn of the coal mining industry.

Bowman added that although the district will proceed with the AML/Pilot application, they have not abandoned efforts to work with the Wise County Water District to provide water to the Cumberland River area.

AML and the Office of Surface Mining have conducted their final walkthrough of the Knott County Interconnect with no significant problems noted. There was one issue with a local property owner but it was resolved by the contractor. The district is in the process of purchasing and installing telemetry for the master meter for the site but they do not have a quote for the material.

The design for the second phase of the Red Star/ Uvah/Hallie, and Turkey Creek is being finalized, and line easements have been prepared. Bowman said he expects the project to begin in October or November. The design for Phase II of the Bull and Elk Creek project has been finalized and no private easements will be required.

Bell is finalizing two AML Power Applications for water and wastewater treatment facilities for the Roxana prison site as well.

Plans and specifications have also been finalized for extending water lines into the Scuttle Hole Gap Road area and the district has contracted Whitesburg Water Maintenance Manger Chris Caudill to obtain pressure readings for the existing lines in the service area. The district is awaiting notification from AML for Phase II of the Millstone Water Project and results of the study of the Gordon/510 Water Improvements Project.



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