The Mountain Eagle
Whitesburg KY
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Water, sewer board working to get funds for prison projects

Applications have been submitted to the Division for Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) and the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) for funding the water lines and sewage treatment facility to serve the proposed federal prison at Roxana.

Bell Engineering official Alan Bowman told the board of directors of the Letcher County Water and Sewer District that the construction can’t begin until after the U.S. Bureau of Prisons goes through another environmental review process for prison construction. Bowman said the process might be completed by spring. Bell Engineering will continue to keep open communications with the bureau and will begin the preliminary engineering reports for both projects, he said.

The board, which met in special session November 22, also conducted the first reading of a balanced budget of $1,302,000 for 2017. District Manager Mark Lewis reported that the district had been able to assist the Neon Water and Sewer District with its recent water outage, by feeding water to it from the Kona/Martha Jane Potter area and from Hemphill to the city by using connections that had been installed from past projects.

In other business, Lewis also reported that district workers have used a new excavator to install five new meter taps in the last month. The excavator was purchased earlier this year to eliminate the need for using contract labor. District workers also cut severely overgrown rights of way on access roads to districtowned water tanks at Little Cowan and Sandlick. Crews searched for a water leak in the Dryfork area that is losing water at a rate of about 70 gallons per minute. Lewis said if the leak is not found and repaired soon, it will have a significant impact on costs for purchasing treated water from the Knott County Water District.

Bowman reported that Bell Engineering is also working on the preliminary engineering report for a decentralized water treatment facility and distribution lines to serve the Cumberland River area, to be located near the Letcher/ Harlan line. Bell is currently analyzing the funding prospects and will revisit the pilot application to the ARC, and will schedule meetings with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority and the U.S. Department of Agriculture to discuss the project further. He added that Bell continues to wait for a hydraulic analysis from the City of Whitesburg for the Scuttle Hole Gap Road Water Project.

Line work is complete for the second Knott County Interconnect and the district and Bell Engineering will hold discussions with R.M. Johnson about revisiting the Deane Interconnect Project with the Knott County District, which is currently doing line work in the area that would help to facilitate the project. Bell has reviewed the initial layout and will determine hydraulic demand and supply requirements for Letcher County in the area.

Plans are being submitted to the Kentucky Department of Water (DOW) for review and approval for Phase II of the Red Star, Ulvah, Hallie, and Turkey Creek Water Improvements Project.

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