The project has been in the works for a long time, with discussion on what’s needed to fix the plant and how much it might cost going back to 2011. Only those citizens in the older part of town — about 450 customers — are served by the plant, which is nearly half a century old at this point. The parts of Burnside along Ky. 90 are served by the Southeastern Water Association via Burnside.
Total expected project cost is currently at $890,000.
The city even considered stopping the production of its own water entirely and buying it from another source. However, the project has moved ahead with an eye to the future. The loan pays for part of that, as does a USDA grant of $333,100.
Reynolds said that the contractor they had chosen, Herrick Co., out of Lawrenceburg, Ky., has worked with HMB before, and the engineering firm has had “good luck with them.”
Water plant manager Eddie Hines attended the meeting and confirmed that the station was down to one pump.
“If we lose what we’ve got now, we’re done,” he said. “Sunday, we had a mechanical failure. It took six hours to fix. We got down to less than 20 percent useable storage. If it had been a weekday, we would have gone dry.”
Responded Sellers, “I’d like to keep (costs) low for everybody ... but the only thing worse than the bill going up is the water going out.”
Councilor Willis Eadens expressed a similar sentiment, given concerns that further repairs down the road could cause an even greater price hike.
“You could raise it $2 and make everybody made today (or) you could raise it $2 now and another 50 cents later, and they’ll be mad twice,” said Eadens. “Might as well take your whipping now and get it over with.”