Would convincing Burnside water customers to accept another price increase so soon after the last one be little more than a pipe dream?
That’s the concern of Burnside City Councilors upon learning that getting the money necessary to repair the town’s water pipes could mean another rate hike.
Joe Grider of Frankfort-based HMB Professional Engineers stopped by Monday’s Burnside City Council meeting to update the council on the funding options for the potential project.
He noted that the older cast-iron pipes, typically six or four inches in diameter, develop deposits on the inside over time, restricting the flow of water.
He said that some pipes recently dug up by engineers have shown roughly two inches of space through which water can flow.
The streets on which these pipes would need to be replace include East Lakeshore Drive, Highland Drive, Childers Drive, Oak Street, Elm Street, and Walnut Street.
Grider said that the state agency known as the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority has issued a list of projects to potentially be funded.
Unfortunately for Burnside, there’s only enough money available to fund about 15 of those — and Burnside is about no. 19 on the list. However, Grider thinks it’s likely some of those ahead of Burnside turn down the money for their projects, and expects Burnside to get a letter in about a month or so inviting them to apply for the money.
It would be about three-quarters of a million dollars — but only about $250,000 of that is grant money, he said, meaning Burnside would need to apply for loan money of close to $500,000.
That would likely result in a water rate increase of about $3.75 per customer were Burnside to use that method to pay off the debt, said Grider.
That could be tricky, however, because of what the council did in April. That’s when the council passed Ordinance 610.2h, which changed the basic price of water to $15.48 for the first 1,000 gallons used is changed to a minimum bill of $18 for customers inside the Burnside city limits. Those using Burnside Waterworks outside the city limits will have a $21.77 minimum bill, instead of $19.25 for the first thousand gallons.