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Weather doesn’t stop work on water lines



Continued winter-like weather has not slowed work on Phase II of the Payne Gap waterline extension project, as work crews for G&W Construction worked through driving snow on Monday to make road bores under U.S. 119.

The Payne Gap project, which originates in Jenkins, will connect with water lines at Martha Jane Potter Elementary at Kona to provide water to Millstone and serve as a backup to the City Fleming-Neon’s water system in addition to providing water to more than 450 homes along the route through Bottom Fork down U.S. 119 toward Whitesburg.

At the March meeting of the Letcher County Water and Sewer District, Steve Caudill of Bell Engineering told the water district’s board of directors that the Kentucky River Area Development District (KRADD), a Hazard-based agency that has been working to help administer grants for water projects, has obtained permission from Kentucky Infrastructure Authority to extend water lines north from Cram Creek/ Pine Creek/Pert Creek to connect with lines at Thornton with funds left over from projects already completed. The extension will allow the water and sewer district to add customers while providing another “interconnect” between county lines.

Caudill also told the board that Laurel Construction has completed work on a new water tank for the Cram Creek project. He said the tank will be disinfected and filled when water lines reach the site. Pipeline contractor Ronnie Mullins and Sons of Elkhorn City has installed a pump station for the project and added work crews to speed up the laying of pipeline and setting of meters.

The board also learned at its March meeting that construction began February 20 on Phase II of the Deane water project and that design work is continuing on the Millstone sewer project. Solicitation of construction bids for the first phase of the Bull Creek/Elk Creek waterline project have been advertised and bids are expected to be opened and awarded April 2 at 11 a.m. in the offices of the Letcher County Water and Sewer District (in the old county health department building).

The Letcher district is awaiting a decision from the federal Appalachian Regional Commission concerning funding before proceeding with a project to interconnect lines here with lines in Perry County.

Bids for Phase II of the Premium water project were opened on March 5. The contract was awarded to Ronnie Mullins and Sons after the firm submitted the low bid of $796,374. Caudill, the engineer, said Mullins and Sons have done good work for the district on other projects.

The board was also told that the state Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) has completed an eligibility report for the Loggy Hollow area at Dry Fork and determined that while the water in the area was definitely impacted by mining operations it does not fall into the “pre-law” timeline, meaning the area was not mined before the 1977 Surface Mining Control and Reclamation Act that established AML to fund clean-up and rehabilitation of areas impacted by surface mining. For that reason, Loggy Hollow is not eligible for AML funding and the district will seek other funders.

In a related matter, AML will conduct field interviews this spring as part of an ongoing eligibility study for waterline extensions on side roads in the Little Cowan area. AML has notified the district that an area around KY 932 in the Cumberland River area is not eligible for AML funding. An application for an eligibility study has been filed with AML for a project in the Gordon area.



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