After several attempts to pass an ordinance establishing an interlocal cooperation agreement and joint sewer agency, members of the Lynch City Council met in a special called meeting on Tuesday where they once again tabled the issue.
After a lengthy discussion, council members said they wanted to “once again hear from Roger Recktenwald with the Kentucky Association of Counties and Adam Scott with the Kentucky Infrastruction Authority.”
In the ordinance the cities of Lynch, Benham and Cumberland are trying to enter into an agreement to engage in a joint and cooperative undertaking to create and establish a joint sewer agency for the purpose of purchasing, owning and operating a regional wastewater facilities and appurtenances.
Each of the cities are struggling with the high costs of providing quality water and wastewater services to their citizens/customers. The ordinance, once passed, will help not only citizens, but the cities improve their water and wastewater utility services.
Confronted with the continuing impacts of the area-wide economic downturn and accompanying loss of population, the cities have requested and received the renewed interest of the Harlan County Fiscal Court to assist by joining them to expand and further empower the authority with an initial focus on wastewater services to achieve the goal of developing current and future services that are reliable, regulatory-compliant and affordable while protecting and improving the water quality of the headwaters and upper main stem of the Cumberland River.
Upon the passage of the ordinance, the county will agree to assist and support the authority in developing a funding package and the procurement of engineering and other services necessary for operation of existing facilities as well as development of new, region-serving wastewater collection and treatment facilities to accommodate the needs of residents of Lynch, Benham and Cumberland and any other feasibly served are of the county.
As part of the agreement, the name of the corporation will be changed to the Harlan County Tri-City Utilities Authority Inc. The authority’s board of directors will be comprised of representatives appointed by the chief elected official and approved by the legislative body of each party to the agreement. The board will include a total of five directors, of which two directors will be appointed by Harlan County Judge-Executive Dan Mosley, one director will be appointed by the mayor of Lynch, one director appointed by the mayor of Benham and one director will be appointed by the mayor of Cumberland.
The next scheduled meeting of the Lynch City Council is set for Nov. 10 at 5 p.m. The meeting is held each month on the second Tuesday at the Lynch City Hall building.
Reach Nola Sizemore at 606-573-4510 or on Twitter @Nola_hde