The district already planned a $4.9 million project to improve pumping capability, filters water lines and storage facilities.
Engineering Consultant Ricky Oakley said, “I think the plant expansion is what we need to go fir. It will set us up better in the future if we have more wholesale customers or existing customers want to buy more. The district would not have problems like it had this summer meeting demand,” he said referring to demand on the 2 million gallon facility reaching 1.9 million gallons. “Even if a customer wanted a million gallons, we would still have a million in reserve.”
In a worksheet of costs for the projects, Oakley said that a minimum-usage customer with 2,000 gallons of water per month or less currently pays $17.22 per month. With the existing and financed plan for improvement, a customer’s bill would increase to $18.22. With the four million gallon-per-day plant, a customer’s bill would increase to $19.38.
Commissioner Stanley Brimmer said, “When we built the plant, it was for one million gallons, and then we had to increase it to two. Now, 20 years later, I think four million gallons is a good idea.”
The commission approved the plan to seek financing for the plant expansion by a unanimous vote.
The board also agreed to seek loan financing from Kentucky Rural Water for a 1.5 million gallon at Pete Light Hill. Currently, Rural Development agreed to pay for the tank with grant funds, though stipulated that bids for the plant’s filters, clear well and lines had to be made at the same time as the tank.
District Superintendent Terry Goins said that the tank was a priority to increase storage of potable water and increase water pressure for customers.
Rural Development Representative Jerry Cloyd said that by seeking alternative funding, the grant money could be used for plant upgrades or line work. “The district would need to amend the engineering agreement to reflect the change. In no way will Barkley be out of the money. You have to use all the money or none,” he said.
District Secretary Penny Wright announced bids for a water line replacement along a bridge on Highway 272. As the water line replacement is mandated by a state highway project, the Kentucky Department of Highways will pay the district to replace existing lines with equivalent piping. Wright said that the low bidder, Stott’s Construction bid $215,046.80, while the other bidder Burgess Construction bid $226,667. The board approved the low bid.
Oakley said that while the Highway Department will pay the full amount to replace the six-inch line with the same, the district could seek to upgrade and pay the difference. “It would be nice to have a line under the interstate. If we never need a bigger line, we would still only be out the initial cost.”
Full coverage of the Barkley Lake Water Commission can be found in your Cadiz Record.