U.S. Rep. Harold "Hal" Rogers (KY-05) and Gov. Matt Bevin have announced a $3.4 million project to alleviate water supply issues within the Martin County Water District.
The project will help secure clean water for the people of Martin County and will be administered by the Kentucky Division of Abandoned Mine Lands (KY DAML), which has received preliminary approval from the U.S. Office of Surface Mining and Reclamation Enforcement (OSMRE).
The water intake modifications will utilize collective funding from a 2018 AML grant and a 2017 AML Pilot grant. Kentucky’s Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC) has also invested an additional $1.2 million to assist with repairs.
The work will include installing a secondary water intake in the Tug Fork River, upgrading the Crum Reservoir dam, installing a new water line from intake to the dam, and making improvements to the district’s water treatment plant.
A monitoring system will be installed to allow water plant operators to check on water tanks, pump stations, and control valves within the system, as part of the project.
The Martin County Water District has a history of water system concerns, including low pressure, leaking water lines and meters, and financial deficits. The project also will help address issues raised by the Kentucky Public Service Commission.
“Our team, including the Energy and Environment Cabinet and the Department of Local Government, worked closely with Congressman Rogers to craft a solution that addresses the water supply issues in Martin County,” said Gov. Bevin. “We have listened to the concerns of the local community, and the grant and corresponding project plan will provide assistance and address needed repairs and improvements within the local water district.”
These improvements also will address the emergency water outages in Martin County that many residents experienced last December and January by providing a more reliable source water supply to the treatment plant.
“While Martin County’s aging water system is in dire need of a gamut of repairs, this funding is a big step in the right direction and helps ensure the people of Martin County will soon have a more reliable, sustainable source of clean drinking water that will include a modernized monitoring system to help prevent future emergencies,” said Congressman Rogers. “Everyone across the country should have access to clean drinking water. Over the last 30 years, we’ve expanded water systems in every county to make sure every day needs are met in Eastern Kentucky. As systems age and deteriorate, like the one in Martin County, we must remain vigilant to prevent prolonged water outages.”
Congressman Rogers and Gov. Bevin have worked tirelessly on this solution for several months along with Energy and Environment Cabinet Secretary Charles Snavely and Department of Local Government Commissioner Sandra Dunahoo. Dunahoo and Snavely applauded the multifaceted efforts to secure funding for the needed water district improvements.
“The Department of Local Government is committed to working across agency boundaries to find solutions for local communities,” said Dunahoo. “We are pleased that we were able to help in expediting $1.2 million in federal funding, through the ARC, for Martin County.”
“This is government at its best,” Snavely said. “While the Cabinet has already been working with the Martin County Water District to find solutions to its water issues, we are confident that this will speed up the process and bring relief to residents.”
(provided by Office of the Governor)