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July 16, 2014

$8.6 million loan for CUC upgrade approved

Sewer rates to be increased from 75 cents to $1 per 1,000 gallons

CORBIN — The Corbin Utilities Commission has been approved for a loan, which will go towards their wastewater treatment plant flow upgrade project.

The amount of the loan is $8,684,115, and comes to the CUC from the Clean Water State Revolving Loan Fund, through the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority (KIA) and the Kentucky Division of Water.

CUC Board members voted to accept and approve the loan during a special board meeting, held last Thursday afternoon.

“The money from the loan will be used to increase the flow to the sewer plant during high rainfall events, to be able to hold the water, then pump it back into the plant when it can accept it after the rainfall,” CUC General Manager Ron Herd said Tuesday.

He added the upgrade project would help with areas of the city that experience overflows during heavy rains, such as Master Street.

Along with the $8.6 loan, the principle forgiveness will be $868,412. The interest rate for the 20-year loan will be 0.75 percent, due to the Median Household Income of the area.

To create enough revenue to pay for the loan, Herd said the CUC’s sewer rates will have to be increased.

He mentioned the monthly increase would be anywhere from 75 cents to $1 per 1,000 gallons.

“If a house uses 5,000 gallons a month, the bill would go up about $5 a month. But most houses don’t use that much,” Herd noted, adding the planned sewer rate increase has not been voted on as of yet.

He said that another $300,000 to $1 million could be needed for the project, depending on construction costs.

Also at last Thursday’s meeting, no action was taken on an engineering agreement with GRW Engineers for the wastewater treatment plant’s flow upgrade project. Herd said the CUC will have to advertise a request for qualifications of engineering firms to do the project, which is in order to meet the requirements of the loan.

GRW Engineering has done preliminary engineering on the project.

In his General Manager’s Report, Herd said negotiations continue between Kentucky Utilities (KU) and 12 municipal customers — including the CUC — on contract changes filed by KU at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. He brought up several power supply options due to the termination of contracts with KU are continuing to be pursued by the group, referred to as the “Kentucky Municipals.”

“KU tried to get us to rescind our termination, but it wasn’t successful,” he stated.

The July meeting was originally scheduled for Tuesday, but due to a board member being out of town that day was moved to last Thursday, in order to get out financial information.

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