Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 6, 2013

Boyd to buy generators to operate in emergencies

CATLETTSBURG — Boyd officials want the county to be better prepared in the event of another widespread power outage from a natural disaster.

On Tuesday, at the behest of Judge-Executive William “Bud” Stevens, the Boyd County Fiscal Court voted to purchase four generators. The items will be let for bid in the coming days and are expected to be in place quickly.

The generators, Stevens said, will ensure residents receive water service during long power outages, and the county can operate the road department in an emergency. One generator will also ensure officials can supply an emergency shelter for residents who need it during an event. A fourth generator will be mobile and can be moved to wherever it is needed, Stevens said.

Officials expect the cost for all four units to be about $80,000. Stevens, however, believes the up-front cost will be well worth it in the long run.

Stevens referenced last summer’s extended power outage because of strong thunderstorms and the recent West Liberty tornado as examples of why officials should take steps to prepare.

“I think it is our job to look at and anticipate these issues and take care of it if we can. We can afford to now,” Stevens said. “I want to make sure we’re ready for something when it hits. Trust me: It’s going to.”

The first generator will power water supply pump stations and tanks that provide water to large areas of the county, including Midland Trail, Tarpon Ridge, Princess Hill, Briarwood and Paul Coffey Industrial Park tanks and booster stations at Midland Trail, Tarpon Ridge, Rebel Road, Briarwood and Brookwood.

A second generator will keep the County Road Department operating, which can double as an emergency command operations center. Last week, a power outage at the garage left the area where trucks and equipment are stored in the dark. A generator to the office kept the lights and computer systems running, but soon the garage will also house the coroner’s office. The third generator will be installed at the Community Center along Ky. 3, which officials say can easily be used as an emergency shelter.

The generators can be installed using in-house labor and be operated by natural gas. All three permanent facilities have natural gas, Stevens said.

Generators will be tested monthly, and operating them on natural gas will save the county in fuel costs, officials said.

Stevens said he will also be speaking to sewer district officials to see if they would be willing to purchase generators to keep sewage pumps operating in the county.

CARRIE STAMBAUGH can be reached at cstambaugh@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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