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Wise Co. still may furnish water to Letcher



Members of the Letcher County Water and Sewer District’s board of directors have been told that neighboring Wise County, Va., may now have the capacity needed to furnish treated water to several homes in the Cumberland River area.

Water Department Supt. Mark Lewis told the board of directors at their April meeting that he had received correspondence from Middlesboro engineering firm Vaughn and Melton stating that Wise County may now have the capacity to furnish water to some parts of the Cumberland River area of Letcher County.

Lewis reported that Vaughn and Melton has also completed work on electrical designs for the Cumberland River water project and will submit them to the Kentucky Division of Water for approval. He also told the board that the district’s water purchases have fallen by 37.7 percent since March 2012 because of numerous leaks being located and repaired.

In other business, Bell Engineering representative Steve Caudill reported that construction of Phase II of the Deane water project is continuing and final purchase agreements for tank and pump station sites for Phase III have been executed. Caudill said he anticipates bids for construction of the system will be advertised later this month. Bids for Phase I of the Bull and Elk Creek Water Improvement Project were opened in early April at the district offices. The low bid was submitted by Akins Excavating of Corbin with a bid of $389,262 against bids of $395,305 from Ronnie Mullins and Sons of Elkhorn City, $407,641.50 from Cumberland Pipeline of Russell Springs, and Sydney Construction of Salyersville with a bid of $412,819.

Laurel Construction has completed work on the storage tank for Phase I of the Pine Creek-Pert Creek-Cram Creek Water Project. Time requirements included in Laurel’s contract time have been suspended until water lines reach the tank site. Pipeline contractor Ronnie Mullins and Sons continues to lay pipe and set meters and has installed the pump station. Caudill said the contractor expects line construction and meter placement will be completed in mid-May.

The Kentucky River Area Development District ( KRADD) has obtained permission from Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) to extend water lines from Mayking to Sergent to tie the Mayking lines to the Thornton lines. The tie-in is being paid for with KIA money previously committed to other projects but not spent. The Kentucky Division of Water is working with the state Division of Abandoned Mine Lands to secure authorization to proceed with bidding Phase II of the Pine, Pert, and Cram Creek project.

Design work for the Millstone Sewer Project is compete and will be submitted for agency review in May. Meanwhile, the district is awaiting a decision from the federal Appalachian Regional Commission on funding for a project to connect lines in Letcher County with the Hazard Water District to allow each district to serve as back up for the other. The district continues to hold $134,597 from the Red Star-Ulvah- Hallie water project while awaiting approval by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet to use the money on the Cumberland River water project.

An Abandoned Mine Lands study for Phase II of the Red Star-Ulvah-Hallie and Turkey Creek water improvement projects has been requested in order to determine eligibly for funding. AML has completed the mine history and field investigation portions of the review and has indicated the district will be advised of the results in the near future. Another application for an AML study of eligibility has been submitted for water line extensions on side roads extending from the original Little Cowan water project, and will begin later this spring. An application for study of the Gordon/Highway 510 area has also been submitted to AML. AML has denied funding to the Loggy Hollow water project as well as the area in Cumberland River from Kentucky Highway 932 to U.S. 119.

The final engineering report for Phase II of the Premium water project along with the final statement of fees has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development Agency and USDA has approved awarding the project to Ronnie Mullins and Sons. Bids for construction of the Millstone water were opened April 30 at the district offices in Whitesburg. The low bidder was Akins Excavating of Corbin with a bid of $541,370.50. Other bidders were K. Carrender Construction of Somerset with a bid of $659,526, and Ronnie Mullins and Sons of Elkhorn City with a bid of $811,256.

Lewis also told the board of directors that progress on Phase II of the Payne Gap water project is about 64 percent complete, with lines now being installed along U.S. 119 and through Bottom Fork.

The board also approved a request by Lewis to advertise for bids for the purchase of a utility pickup truck for district use.



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