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Water district applies for funds for new plant for Cumberland River

Water board meets

After years of waiting, and several failed attempts, Cumberland River residents are finally getting closer to having their own source of treated water.

Alan Bowman of Bell Engineering told the Letcher County Water and Sewer District at its meeting last week that a funding application for a water treatment plant was submitted to Abandoned Mine Lands/ Nexus through the Kentucky River Area Development District. The request is for consideration in this year’s funding cycle. A copy of the archeologist’s findings was attached to the report and consideration will be given to relocating the plant or mitigating the current site.

AML/Nexus is funding for projects that are closely related to, or are similar in nature to ongoing AML projects. Since the grant application was submitted in the current year’s cycle, the district should have some indication concerning funding availability for the project by the end of the year.

Additional opportunities from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Section 531 are also available. That funding is primarily for the purpose of providing design and construction assistance to nonfederal projects carrying out water-related environmental infrastructure, resource protection and development projects in a 29-county area of eastern Kentucky. Projects may include wastewater facilities, as well as water supply and related projects, including surface water resource protection and development.

In a related matter, plans for water lines for the Roxana area have been forwarded to the Kentucky Division of Water. The federal Bureau of Prisons had originally planned to locate a federal prison there that could have provided several hundred high-paying jobs in the region. However, the Bureau of Prisons has cancelled plans to build it, despite more than $500 million that is still in the budget for the project. Although the prison is no longer a viable project, other funding sources have indicated an interest in extending water lines to Roxana. Plans for the water lines in Roxana have been forwarded to the Kentucky Division of Water for approval and the district anticipates a response within the next 30 days.

The Kentucky Division of Water has also requested a letter of support from the Knott County Water District for a water line interconnect at Deane. Once the letter is received, it will be forwarded to the KDOW. The district anticipates approval of those plans within the next two weeks. Once that step is complete, bids will be let for construction. The water line relocation at the Caudilltown Bridge is now complete too. Invoicing will be sent to the Kentucky Department of Transportation.

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