The money for Barkley District’s renovation project is part of the more than $615 million in federal funds for rural water and environmental projects across the county, money that will be provided through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, U.S. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced on Tuesday, April 27.
According to Terry Goins at the Lake Barkley Water District, the total cost of the renovation project, is expected to be about $8.5 million. “We’ve just been getting the money in bits and pieces,” Goins explained.
With the new funding, the project is close to being fully funded, and the district will need to wait for the money to actually get to them, Goins said, adding that they will hope to bid the project this summer.
Goins said that with the renovation, the water district hopes to double the capacity of the treatment facility from 2 million gallons per day to 4 million gallons per day. The Barkley Water spokesman went on to say that included in the renovation will the construction of a new water main from the treatment plant to the new water tank on Pete Light Hill, which is still under construction.
Goins also said the new water tank, when completed, will be able to hold 1 million gallons, five times more than the current one, which he said isn’t far from the new water tank.
The total renovation is expected to take about a year, said Goins, who said the district hopes to complete construction of the water tank before renovation of the water treatment plant begins.
The renovation project is one of 193 such projects across 34 states, and is one of the six projects in Kentucky, to receive such funding, according to information from the a press release from the USDA.
Vilsack said during last Tuesday’s press conference that the projects that will be receiving the $615 million could create or save as many as 12,385 jobs, and that said projects are only the first of many that will get Recovery Act funds to improve rural water and waste disposal systems.
“Aging water and waste infrastructure systems threaten the ability of rural communities to provide clean, reliable drinking water to residents and protect precious environmental resources,” Vilsack said.
Lake Barkley Water District, Goins said, has about 5,000 customers, and also supplies some water to Christian County and Stewart County, Tenn.
The USDA Rural Development’s Water and Environmental Program gives loans and grants to make sure that necessary improvements are made to rural water and wastewater infrastructure so that safe drinking water can be delivered and the environment can be protected in those rural communities, according to the USDA press release.