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
  • 0419sciencehs.JPG Russell High School wins State Science Olympiad

    The long ride home from Bowling Green was tinged with disappointment for Russell High School students who believed they’d finished as also-rans in the state Science Olympiad last weekend.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419sciencems.JPG Russell Middle School state Science Olympiad champions

    From identifying hundreds of insects to designing and operating mechanical contraptions that just look like insects, a team of Russell Middle School students took their research and technical skills to the Science Olympiad in Bowling Green last week and came back state champions.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0419melodies0114.jpg Kitchen jazzes up downtown lunch hour

    Some came to enjoy the relaxing sounds of cool jazz and traditional tunes at lunch, while others attended in hopes of picking up a few tricks from a master musician as guitarist Chris Kitchen kicked off the Melodies & Masterpieces concert series in downtown Ashland Friday afternoon.

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • Sparks, Waddell in Carter Coronor’s race

    Incumbent George A. Sparks of Grayson will face challenger William Waddell of Olive Hill in the Democratic primary election for the Carter County coroner’s seat.

    April 18, 2014

  • 04/18/2014 — What's Happening

    Local news

    April 18, 2014

  • Bill3.jpg 'Dreams'

    It was in her own death that Donna Schoonover helped William Schoonover redefine his life.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • guyp-rodnew.jpg 'Uplifting people'

    The snow kept gospel singer Guy Penrod chilling a little longer than it should have this spring.

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0418star0024.jpg Raising the roof

    Leaks will soon be a thing of the past at Star Elementary School, where workers are busy putting up a new roof.
     

    April 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire at Russell care facility

    A care facility for the elderly in Russell was temporarily evacuated following a fire in the kitchen Wednesday night.
     

    April 18, 2014

  • Incumbent, newcomer vie for PVA position

    A longtime office-holder is facing a rare primary challenge in the Greenup County property valuation administrator race.

    April 18, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone