Fayette gets $15 million loan, Letcher $10 million for water, sewer projects

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FAYETTE, LETCHER COUNTIES, Ky. (WTVQ) – Fayette County’s decade long effort to rebuild its sewer system to meet federal court orders got a big financial boost Thursday.

The state’s Infrastructure Board approved almost $16 million for an 18 million gallon storage tank. The loan will be at 1.75 percent interest of 20 years.

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The project is to relieve pressure from the Hickman Avenue sewage treatment station. The loan increases the city’s total infrastructure loan funding to more than $83 million.

But the recent rains made it clear why it’s so important to protect health and safety.

“This most recent rain event at the end of February illustrated the need of the second tank. Although we didn’t get as much rain as some of our neighbors to the east, we got our fair share. We filled the original 22 million gallon tank and then proceeded to have to send 90 million gallons a day to the treatment plant which it couldn’t handle so we had over flows as recently as February 28,” said Charles Martin, Lexington’s Water Quality director.

The city is about halfway through with 120 sewer upgrade projects ordered by the federal courts. This is one of the most expensive.

Meanwhile, four water projects get much-needed funding to make a difference in service and quality in Letcher County.

The state Infrastructure Authority approved four low-interest loans totaling almost $10 million for major water and sewer projects in Letcher County.

One project will replace leaking sewer lines in Fleming-Neon. Another will build a new water tank and extend water service in that community.

A regional link between the City of Cumberland will extend service for about 200 more customers and expand storage for the Letcher County Water and Sewer District.

A fourth will build a one million gallon treatment plant to expand service to northern Letcher and southern Perry County. The loans are at .25-percent interest rate and some of the principal payments will be forgiven.

“It’s a great day for Letcher County Water and Sewer District. Letcher County has been approved for all these loans,” said Infrastructure Authority member Derris Keene.

The projects have almost $4 million in backing from state and federal grants. The two Letcher water and sewer system projects will require a 5 percent rate increase.