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Fiscal court discussing US 60 project study

County magistrates directed discussion of an engineering study to expand infrastructure and possible expansion along the U.S. 60 corridor to a subcommittee during its meeting Wednesday.

Officials with the Bluegrass Area Development District and Palmer Engineering offered three options:

— for Winchester Municipal Utilities to take over water and sewer service for the area in question, which would involve Kentucky American Water relinquishing its customers and infrastructure;

— for collection areas to be built for subdivisions currently using package treatment plants, over which WMU would then assume maintenance and bill the neighborhood;

— use a privilege fee agreement to provide service for all users and perform the needed upgrades.

Ultimately, Karyn Leverenz of BGADD and Stephanie Blain from Palmer recommended the second option, as they believed Kentucky American would not give up the customers.

The second option, they said, also carried the opportunity to apply for low-interest loans to finance the project. Leverenz said the interest rate in those programs are currently around 0.25 percent with principal forgiveness as well.

“It’s about the best case you could hope for in a loan,” she said.

One disadvantage, though, is WMU would bill the entire subdivision as one entity, rather than to individual homeowners or residents.

Blain said there are four subdivisions currently using package treatment plants: Verna Hills, Rockwell Village, Treehaven and Yorktowne.

Magistrate Chris Davis, who represents that area, said he believed all those systems were installed in the 1970s. While he was not aware of any current problems with those plants, he said they are “very old.”

“I’d think there would be a lot of appetite to finally retire those plants,” he said.

Blain suggested the county vote to move ahead with a preliminary engineering report, which would allow them to pursue funding for the project.

Magistrate Daniel Konstantopoulos made a motion to proceed with the second option, but withdrew it so the committee could discuss all three and make a recommendation to the Fiscal Court.

“Although I think it’s the right motion, we should have the committee look at it,” Magistrate Greg Elkins said.

Later in the meeting, the magistrates voted unanimously against a zoning change request for 9.21 acres on McClure Road. Several magistrates said the findings from the planning commission were inadequate and the change appeared to contradict the comprehensive plan.

In other action Wednesday, the fiscal court:

— approved a training incentive payment for Magistrate Greg Elkins

— approved the Clark County Community Foundation grant agreement for 2020.

— accepted a bid of $127,119.12 from the Allen Company to repave Jackson Ferry Road. No other bids were submitted.

— approved orders to purchase computer equipment, emergency shelter and apparatus, and an electric generator for Clark County Emergency Management and CSEPP. All will be paid with pass-through funds from other agencies.

About Fred Petke

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

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