Commission talks extending bypass utilities

Utilities look to address inactive services

By Matt Lasley -

The Leitchfield Utilities Commission on Thursday, July 21 discussed extending its utilities services all around the William Thomason Byway.

The Utilities Commission met in regular session on Thursday, and during the meeting, Utilities Commissioner Alden Alley asked what the expense would be to lay utility lines all around the William Thomason Byway (the bypass).

Alley said he feels that the currently unused property along the bypass would be more utilized by potential businesses if utilities services were already in place.

Additionally, he said that if there were more utilities available and being utilized, utilities rates could be lower for customers.

Leitchfield Utilities Superintendent Dwight Embry said he has previously looked into the cost of extending the utilities along the bypass for this purpose and believes it would be around $200,000 to complete the gas lines.

Embry said the water lines are nearly extended all around the bypass.

It would ultimately be a matter of whether the Utilities Commission feels it would be worth a half-million dollar investment to extend the utilities right away in the hope that it will lure new proprietors or wait until something would be guaranteed to go in the location, according to Embry.

“That’d be a decision for you all to make,” Embry said.

Leitchfield Utilities Attorney David Vickery said that grant money would likely not be received for such a project unless the utilities can prove something will be going in the proposed location.

“You will not be successful if you apply for a grant based on speculation [that something will come in],” said Vickery, explaining that funds are so limited currently, grant applicants need concrete evidence that the funds will help increase local revenue by benefiting a proprietor.

No action was taken Thursday on this matter.

In addition to its discussion regarding extending the utility lines, the Utilities Commission also discussed forming a protocol for addressing inactive utility services in its system.

During his scheduled update on his department’s recent activities, Leitchfield Gas Department Supervisor Jimmy Wells recommended that, due to the high number of inactive services, the Utilities Commission consider enacting a program to address the inactive services.

Wells said there are currently 140 inactive services in the Leitchfield Utilities system.

Embry said that each of these inactive services still cost Leitchfield Utilities money, despite being unused.

Vickery recommended that the utilities notify individuals on whose property there are inactive services and provide them a certain amount of time to act on the service, after which time Leitchfield Utilities may start charging them.

Embry requested time to meet with his utilities supervisors and present the Utilities Commission a recommendation for addressing the inactive services at a later date.

In other business:

*The Utilities Commission approved a resolution to enter into a contract with the Rough River U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to store Leitchfield Utilities’ water at the Rough River water reservoir.
Utilities look to address inactive services

By Matt Lasley

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

Reach Matt Lasley at 270-259-9622, ext. 2015.

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