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Work on getting water to prison faces year delay


Design work is moving ahead for a water treatment plant to serve the new federal prison project at Roxana, but construction will have to wait for up to a year.

In an engineering report to the Letcher County Water and Sewer District, Alan Bowman of Bell Engineering told the board guidelines were established Oct. 26 to move the design phase forward for water and sewer plants to serve the prison. Representatives of Bell Engineering, the District and the Kentucky Division of Water attended the meeting. The state guidelines include a 12-month period of sampling to determine that the potential water source is adequate to serve the prison’s needs. The DOW informed Bell and the District they can move ahead with the design work on the project, but no construction can begin until they are certain that an adequate supply is available.

The Kentucky River Area Development District has resubmitted project profiles for the prison water plant, and submitted an application November 16 for consideration in the Abandoned Mine Lands/Nexus funding cycle. The funds will be used to develop an alternate source of supply for the prison to be certain its needs will be met in the event of an emergency. Bell is in the process of finalizing the water line design and finishing permits to cross under CSX railroad lines. The next step is to submit the plans to Division of Water for approval.

The water and Sewer District will begins the coming year with a balanced budget of $1,345,668. The 2019 budget passed unanimously at the November meeting of the Board of Directors. Following the budget vote, Board member Richard Carter then moved to give each District employee a performance bonus of $500.00. The board approved his motion by a unanimous vote as well.

Carter, who lives in Cumberland River area, also asked the board to move its meeting time from 6 p.m. to 4:30 p.m to accommodate people who have to cross the mountain during cold weather. That motion also passed. The board will continue to meet on the third Thursday of each month, but when the new offices are complete, it will move the monthly meetings from the District Courtroom to their offices at Mayking. Meetings at the new site will be announced in The Mountain Eagle.

In other business, the Board went into a short executive session to discuss ongoing litigation with Welding Inc. concerning final payment for a water tank, but when members emerged, Board Chairman Bernard Watts announced that no action was taken. The final payment was originally held until the District was satisfied with a tank project that was finished before the current board was seated and it is still a matter of contention.

Bowman also said that Bell Engineering would look for funding sources to allow the District to address line issues on Route 15.

The Red Star, Ulvah, Hallie, and Turkey Creek Water Improvements Project is now closed and blacktopping roads that were disturbed by the work is also complete. Bell has scheduled a meeting with Boggs Municipal Inc. to discuss a solar array and flow meter for the system. Phase II of the Millstone Water Project and the line connection for the Gordon and Highway 510 area are on hold pending the findings of an AML study to determine if they are eligible for funding.

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