County supports pipeline

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By Gayle Deaton

The county joined forces with the city of Shelbyville, and Frankfort government entities to endorse a plan for an alternative water supply. Fiscal Court passed a resolution Tuesday in favor of the proposed pipeline that would take Louisville Water Co. lines to Frankfort along I-64 in Shelby County.

Under the proposal, Louisville Water would supply the pipeline to Ky. 53 at which point Shelby County would have to help pay for extending the pipeline from Ky. 53 to 395. Officials said they anticipate grants could help offset much of the initial cost. Louisville Water and the Frankfort Plant Board would pick up costs from there to continue the pipeline into Franklin County.

Tom Doyle, manager of the Shelbyville Water and Sewer Commission, said the only thing Louisville Water is asking for is a minimum commitment of two million gallons a day from Shelby and Franklin County water districts. With the frequent drought experiences, Doyle pointed out that it is smart to tap into an alternative water supply while there is an opportunity to do so. The proposed pipeline would provide an additional and alternative water supply for the county to Guist Creek Lake in eastern Shelby County, which is the only direct source of water in the county.

A summer drought caused the lake to hit one of its lowest all time levels in October and prompted water restrictions in parts of the county.

The Kentucky American water pipeline proposal currently under consideration in Lexington is a totally separate project, Doyle said. The Public Service Commission is expected to decide which water company will provide water to central Kentucky in 2008.

This project is smaller, Doyle explained.

Shelbyville Municipal Water and Sewer Commission is working on the project with Louisville Water Co., Doyle said, and the commission could become a primary investor in the project. Still, it is uncertain how much ownership that will result in until the project moves forward. But rates should be similar for customers because Doyle said Louisville Water has agreed to charge basically the same wholesale rate he charges.

"Anytime you're building something for the future, there's an immediate risk," Doyle said. "But in the long-term it's going to be more cost-effective. Initially it will be a hit to us but we feel we can make it back up."

The court approved $10,000 toward a study to evaluate the feasibility of the project.

County Judge-Executive Rob Rothenburger praised magistrates for their foresight in planning for the county's future water supply.

In other business, the court:

Approved the sheriff's office budget and deputies' bonds for 2008.

Approved a state advancement loan for the sheriff's department pending tax revenue.

Approved the reappointment of Judy Best and Tom Flowers to the Shelby County Cooperative Extension Board.

Approved release of funds of $10,000 for the Mt. Eden Fire Department to purchase communications equipment.

Approved a resolution to allow the application under the Governor's Office for Local Development for assistance under the 2008 Recreational Trails Program Grant for Red Orchard Park.

Approved the hiring of Dwayne Jamison as a full-time laborer for the Shelby County Road Department.

Approved declaring a wrecked ambulance as surplus property and approving the advertisement for a new ambulance for EMS.

Approved first phase of a sidewalk redesign and construction on the east and north sides of the Shelby County Courthouse.

The next fiscal court meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Jan. 8, 2008.