EKPC ash hauling to end next year

Published 10:39 am Wednesday, October 12, 2016

East Kentucky Power Cooperative’s massive project to truck more than a half-million tons of coal ash is on track and should finish next year.

During a community meeting at the First Settlers House Tuesday evening, East Kentucky Power Cooperative external affairs manager Nick Comer said the project should be finished by this time next year.

Starting in the summer of 2015, EKPC began removing approximately 560,000 tons of coal ash from Dale Station in Ford along the Kentucky River to a landfill at Smith Station in Trapp. Both facilities are owned by EKPC.

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“Basically, we have removed about 300,000 cubic yards of material,” Comer told about 20 residents from the Ford and Kentucky River communities. “The plan is to be done by this time next year.”

Comer said crews should be able to work until the first part of November, depending on the weather, before shutting down for the winter.

The ash is what was left after coal was burned to make electricity.

One of the two collection ponds has already been emptied, he said, and the ground will be graded down to the river bank, he said. There is also an ash storage area at the site, which will be cleaned as well.

The coal-fired power plant at Dale Station, which was built in the 1950s, was shut down earlier this year. The site still houses electric transmission lines, Comer said, and the future of the site has not been discussed. The building and the transmission lines will remain in place, he said.

Earlier in the semi-annual meeting between Clark County Judge-Executive Henry Branham and residents, the topic of the former Bananas property came up. The long-closed restaurant burned last year and has since become a dump site, residents said.

Branham said County Attorney Brian Thomas spoke with the owner of the property. Because the property is zoned for agricultural use, it is exempt from the county’s property maintenance ordinance, he said. Thomas has been reviewing the state law for possible options as well, he said.

Assistant County Attorney John Hendricks said the county can prosecute dumping if residents see it happening and can provide license plate numbers of vehicles involved.

Branham also said the grant application has been submitted for next year to build a boat ramp near the old water tower.

“It’s something I think we need to do,” Branham said. “In my mind, this would be a big benefit to the people of Clark County.”

The project could cost $500,000 to $600,000 and the county would have to match about 20 percent, he said.

Contact Fred Petke at fred.petke@winchestersun.com or follow him on Twitter, @FredPetkeNews.

About Fred Petke

Fred Petke is a reporter for The Winchester Sun, the Jessamine Journal and the State Journal. His beats include cops, courts, fire, public records, city and county government and other news. To contact Fred, email fred.petke@bluegrassnewsmedia.com or call 859-759-0051.

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