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Wise County again considers providing water to Letcher Co. for C’land River area



The Wise County, Va., Public Service Authority is again considering the possibility of furnishing drinking water to Letcher County residents who live in the Cumberland River area of Letcher County.

The board of directors of the Norton-based agency has placed the topic on the agenda for its January meeting, members of the Letcher County Water and Sewer District’s Board of Directors were told at their December meeting.

The Wise County PSA has built up the capacity to provide water to the Cumberland River area, but refused a request made in summer 2013 that would have connected the Wise system to Letcher County at Flat Gap on the Kentucky-Virginia state line.

The office of Fifth District U.S. Representative Harold “Hal” Rogers (R-Ky.) has been facilitating Letcher County’s most recent attempt to get help from its neighbor to the east.

In other business, Letcher’s water and sewer board was told that a major line break in the main connector line from Carr Creek Lake in Knott County, which supplies much of Letcher County’s water, caused signifi cant water losses as well as higher than normal repair and maintenance costs for the month.

Water and Sewer District Manager Mark Lewis told the district’s board of directors that the water loss was the result of a break in a 12-inch water line that split along its entire 20-foot length, and that while it was replaced on the same day the break occurred, it did result in a considerable water loss.

Lewis also reported that Francis Water Company of Garrett in Floyd County has contacted him to express an interest in buying the entire contents of the Blackey Water Plant. The plant has not been used for several years since it was revealed that it costs more to produce water at the Blackey Plant than it does to import it from Carr Creek Lake in Knott County. Lewis said Francis Water wants the Letcher board to have the plant appraised and present the firm with a price for the entire contents. The board will consider the matter.

In other business at the water and sewer board’s December meeting, Lewis said he was informed earlier in December that bores and extensions for water lines on Richard Adams Road at Mayking and Bill Lewis Road are both complete. The lines are being tested for bacteria and results will be available soon.

Bell Engineering representative Jamie Noll reported to the board that “final closeout documents” are being circulated for the Premium Water Project and that Phase II of the Pert Creek, Pine Creek, and Cram Creek Water Improvements Project is nearly complete. She said that contractor Ronnie Mullins and Sons have installed all but 1,200 linear feet of line for the project. Placement of water meters and the installation of the pumping station will complete Mullins and Sons’ portion of the project. The grade work and foundation are complete for the Bull Hole Water Tank to serve Pert Creek, Pine Creek, and Cram Creek, with construction set to begin shortly.

The water line and booster station for Phase III of the Deane Water Improvements Project are complete, and Boggs Municipal Services Inc. of Wise, Va., is in the process of completing the automated communications — or “telemetry” — system that will allow water workers to monitor developments by computer throughout the system when it is complete. The 150,000-gallon water storage tank at Deane is complete and in service, and the “punch list” (final check) is complete as well. The final inspection by project funding agency, Abandoned Mine Lands (AML), is complete.

The water and sewer board has also learned that Boca Construction has started work on relocating existing water lines at Race Track Hollow Road near Isom. The lines have to be moved to accommodate a new bridge.

Akins Excavation started construction on line extensions into Loggy Hollow at Dry Fork on November 3 and the work is continuing.

Abandoned Mine Lands representatives have notified the Letcher County Water and Sewer District that the area covered in the second phase of the Red Star, Ulvah, Hallie, and Turkey Creek water line extension project is eligible for AML funding. The line portion of the project design is almost complete. The district is also working with AML to fund additional interconnects with the Knott County Water District along Kentucky Routes 15 and 7. The connector for Route 15 is under design and Bell Engineering is working closely with engineers associated with the project in Knott County on hydraulics. The design should be complete by late winter or early spring.

Bell Engineering has submitted an application on the water and sewer district’s behalf to AML to determine if the remainder of the Millstone Water Project — Phase II — is eligible, as well as the side roads in Big Cowan and Kingscreek. Both applications are still under review. An application has also been submitted to determine if the Gordon and Highway 510 Water Improvements Project is eligible for AML funding, but AML hasn’t scheduled the field work yet.

Funding for the Cumberland River Water Project has been split into several phases to facilitate funding. An application to fund Phase I was submitted to the federal Appalachian Regional Commission on December 11, and a one-page talking point summary has been prepared to use in seeking funding for Phases II and III.

A proposed layout of a new leach field for the Millstone Sewer Project has been sent to the Kentucky Department of Public Health to be reviewed and to obtain instruction for testing to determine the total size of the leach field that will be required.

Derek Motsch of Summit Engineering submitted a written report to the board that informed it that encroachment permits for the Dry Fork/Craft’s Colly Sewer Project have been approved by the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet, and that the project needs four more easements from landowners. Motsch reported that one has been obtained, and Summit is in talks with the second property owner. It hasn’t been able to contact the third one and the fourth one is expected to sign. Letcher County Judge Executive Jim Ward has indicted that he intends to visit the remaining property owners who haven’t signed easements yet. Motsch added that the easements are the only remaining holdup on the project.



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