Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

March 27, 2013

Greenup to remain in project for joint sewer

GREENUP — The city of Greenup won’t be pulling out of a joint regional sewer project, as officials had earlier indicated it might.

The city council on Tuesday voted 5-1 to press ahead with the agreement, under which the city will send its waste water to the Wurtland sewer plant for treatment.

Earlier this month, the council expressed misgivings about continuing with the project, citing the as-yet-unknown effects of the February closure of the Sun Chemical Performance Pigments plant at Wurtland and the possibility Greenup sewer customers could see significant increases in their sewer bills as a result.

The council voted 4-1 to instruct City Attorney R. Stephen McGinnis to draft an ordinance rescinding its agreement with Wurtland and Greenup County to join the regional sewer commission. During the same meeting, the council also asked its consulting engineer, Richard Howerton, to complete a feasibility study on upgrading or building a new waste water treatment plant and took action to begin researching the ownership of property north of the current treatment plant in case the city needed to acquire it.

But, on Tuesday, Mayor Lundie Meadows said officials had learned that the city pulling out of the joint agreement would not be greeted favorably by officials with the state Division of Water.

According to Meadows, Shafiq Amawi, the division’s water infrastructure branch manager, paid a visit to Greenup on Monday and made it “abundantly clear” that the state still expected to abide by the order signed by then-Mayor Donna Hewlett in March 2007, under which the city agreed to eventually shutter its own aging sewer plant and tie on with Wurtland.

Amawi also told city officials it “would be in Greenup’s best interest” to proceed with the joint agreement and that failure to do so would result in more stringent enforcement action against the city’s current plant, Meadows said.

The mayor also said Amawi had indicated the division had “taken it easy” on the city with regard to enforcement because of the agreed order, but that Greenup could expect that stance to change dramatically if it backed out of the regional project.

If the scenario ever came to pass, the division could potentially impose hundreds of dollars a day in fines, which could drain the city’s treasury, Meadows said.

Councilman Marty Stephens — who said he was also in on the discussions with Amawi and agreed with Meadows that the city had little choice but to remain part of the joint sewer commission — made the motion for the city to do just that. Councilman Jeff Hurn seconded. Councilman David Black cast the only dissenting vote.

Meadows said he would be contacting Wurtland Mayor Donna Hayes today to inform her the Greenup was still committed to the joint sewer project.

At a special meeting on Friday, Hayes and members of the Wurtland City Commission expressed deep concern over the possibility of Greenup abandoning the project. They said adding customers is critical to the future of the Wurtland sewer plant, which has seen a massive drop in the volume of waste it treats as the result of the Sun Chemical plant closure.

The plant, which opened in 1989, was built primarily to serve the needs of Sun Chemical, which generated 96 percent of the facility’s operating expenses and also covered the majority of its debt service. The plant had a capacity of 1.1 million gallons, far more than what Wurtland needs to serve its residential customers and the other industrial plants in the city.

Under the regional sewer agreement, the line carrying Greenup’s waste to Wurtland will be paid for using a $1.87 million grant. An additional $500,000 has been secured for an eventual extension to Lloyd.

Meadows said he felt the city’s hands were tied to a certain extent by the agreed order and that he still believed the city could break even, or even come out slightly ahead, by building its own new sewer plant.

Meadows said that earlier estimates to build a new plant were between $2 million and $3.5 million, but others said those figures were far too low. Officials also noted the city would still have to secure Division of Water approval to build its own facility.

Wurtland officials have said there will eventually be sewer rate increases as the result of Sun Chemical’s closure, but that it’s too soon to gauge how much rates will be going up because it’s not yet known how much it’s going to cost the city to run the plant, which is being converted from an industrial treatment facility to one that primarily treats household effluent.

KENNETH HART can be reached at khart@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2654.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • Judge denies renewed motion to dismiss Rosen lawsuit

    A judge has refused to dismiss a former Boyd district and circuit judge’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law that affects his ability to run for re-election this fall.
    In an order entered on Friday, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate denied a renewed motion to dismiss by current Boyd Circuit Judge George W. Davis III, an intervening respondent in the suit filed in January by Marc I. Rosen.

    April 23, 2014

  • Ashland football players join special-needs students for prom

    The purple chiffon gown and the sparkling tiara are back in the closet four days after the big dance, but Karina McBride still hasn’t stopped talking about Saturday night — the decorations, boys bringing her cups of punch, her first kiss (on the cheek, her mother hastens to interject), and dancing the night away at her first prom.
    “She’s been flying high since that night,” said Michele Woods, who is Karina’s mother and who brought together friends and volunteers to organize a prom for special needs students.

    April 23, 2014

  • Concrete pouring at Putnam

    Workers are pouring concrete foundations at Putnam Stadium and once those are dry and cured will be ready to install seats at the historic arena.
    The workers are putting in 12-hour shifts to keep on schedule to complete the stadium’s reconstruction in time for this fall’s football opener, said site supervisor Craig Chinn of Trace Creek Construction.
    The most visible work is happening on the home-team side of the stadium, where workers Tuesday were setting forms for the cylindrical concrete piers that will support the seats. Once those are poured, cured and inspected they will add the seats.

    April 23, 2014

  • Unique races for Carter magistrates

    Carter County magistrate ballots are full of candidates eager to represent constituents in each of the five districts that make up the county’s fiscal court.
    Of the five seats available, three magistrates are seeking re-election: Clarence “Sonny” Fankell, D-Grayson, District 2; Clifford “Sodbuster” Roe, D-Olive Hill, District 4; and Brandon Burton, R-Olive Hill, District 5.
    The incumbents will each have to battle as many as three opponents in their district primaries next month before they can focus on reclaiming their magistrate titles in the November general election.
    This year’s magistrate race will host a total of 22 candidates, with 11 from Grayson, nine from Olive Hill and two from Denton.

    April 23, 2014

  • Martin County marks 50 years since LBJ visit

    Today marks 5o years since former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Inez resident Tom Fletcher and promised to end poverty in America on April 24, 1964. On Friday, Inez will be commemorating the occasion with a special event.

    April 23, 2014

  • Trail Town trial run to be in Olive Hill this Sunday

    Olive Hill will participate in a trial run this Saturday in the city’s push to become a certified Kentucky Trail Town.

    April 23, 2014

  • Some area farmers may be eligible for LIP program

    The Grayson  Farm Service Agency, (Boyd, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence) is having registration for the Livestock Indemnity Program to eligible producers who suffered losses beginning Oct. 1, 2011, and subsequent years.

    April 23, 2014

  • News in brief, 04/24/14

    The King’s Daughters Pregancy and Infant Loss Support Group invites families who have experienced the loss of an infant during pregnancy or following birth to participate in a butterfly release and prayer ceremony at 2 p.m. May 10 at the Ashland Central Park fountain.

    April 23, 2014

  • Garner hosting National Day of Prayer activities

    The Garner Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting day long events at the Kyova Mall to commemorate the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 1.

    April 23, 2014

  • Flatwoods mayoral debate set for Tuesday

    A public debate among the candidates seeking to become the next mayor of Flatwoods will take place next week.

    April 22, 2014