County resolves to address Tri-Cities wastewater issues

Published 8:43 am Tuesday, June 25, 2024

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The Harlan County Fiscal Court addressed an ongoing issue with wastewater treatment in the Tri-Cities during the panel’s regular meeting for June, adopting a resolution aimed at working toward a solution for wastewater problems in the Tri-Cities area.
Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley brought the matter before the magistrates.
“This would be a resolution related to Tri-Cities wastewater solutions,” Mosley said. “(Magistrate) Paul Browning and I participated in a meeting in Benham at the Benham Schoolhouse Inn last month to discuss the wastewater woes that have been experienced in the Tri-City area.”
Mosley explained the Environmental Protection Agency funded a planning study to determine the best way forward to address the wastewater issues.
“There were a lot of community members there, all three mayors, members of all three city councils,” Mosley said. “The EPA presented their findings and recommendations, and at the end of the day the EPA is recommending one of two things happen: One, the cities into an interlocal agreement and combine their wastewater into one, or two, they create a joint sewer agency and work with the Fiscal Court to establish something similar to what was done a few years back, kind of like the Harlan County Tri-City Utility Authority, but it would be just related to sewer.”
According to Mosley, both options are currently under consideration. He said the state requested all governing bodies pass a resolution agreeing to work together and have conversations about the issue with meetings occurring at least once a month with an aim of having a plan to move forward soon.
Mosley then read the resolution for the court.
The resolution states in part the cities of Cumberland, Benham, and Lynch…each own and operate a wastewater system, each of which currently experiences challenges, that require capital upgrades.
“Therefore, be it resolved by the Fiscal Court of the County of Harlan that it is committed to continuing collaborative discussions with the Tri-Cities and assistance agencies regarding potential long term wastewater solutions,” Mosley read. “Harlan County Fiscal Court is committed to participating in no less than monthly meetings beginning no later than July with these entities to further these discussions.”
Browning made a motion to adopt the resolution, seconded by Magistrate James Howard. The motion passed unanimously.
In other Fiscal Court activity:
• A resolution related to the Harlan County Fiscal Court CDBG Cumberland Hope Community Project was adopted;
• A resolution establishing a procurement police for the Kentucky Community Development Block Grant program was approved;
• An agreement between the Harlan County Fiscal Court and Cumberland River Behavioral Health related to the Cumberland Hope Project was approved;
• The Harlan County Sheriff’s 2023 final tax settlement was accepted, subject to audit.

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