Water Shortage Solutions

Posted by Spalding Hurst

September 5, 2005

Wednesday, October 5, 2005 8:21 AM EDT
DAVID MANN The Kentucky Standard

Nelson Fiscal Court and Bardstown City Council want to work together to solve a perceived water shortage in the county.

County Judge Executive Dean Watts said Tuesday during a meeting of Nelson Fiscal Court the two bodies will schedule a joint meeting to address the issue.

Court members as well as councilman John Royalty, who attended Tuesday’s Fiscal Court meeting, agreed a joint meeting between the two bodies would be productive.

A date has not been set.

Bardstown Mayor Dixie Hibbs could not be reached for comment. Watts, pointed out however, that she approached him for the meeting. She also mentioned the potential joint meeting at last week’s City Council meeting.

Citing recent water supply concerns and recent calls for voluntarily conservation, Nelson Fiscal Court announced its intention to find a new water source.

The Court approved a motion last month allowing Watts to seek federal grant money for a feasibility study to find new sources of water for the county.

For now, Watts said, federal money will have to wait. Congressman Ron Lewis is asking the federal leaders to halt spending on local projects because of hurricanes Rita and Katrina, he noted.

The city supplies about 90 percent of Nelson County’s water, according to Hibbs.

Sympson Lake is the primary source of that water. The city also pumps water from the Beech Fork River.

The Beech Fork supplies the city with about a day’s supply of water, around 6 million gallons. There are limits, however, on how much the city can take from the source.

According to the Center of Urban and Economic Research, county population is expected to increase by more than 80 percent in the next 30 years.

Watts said last month he would prefer a lake as a solution to the shortage.

A lake would give the community self-dependence and provide an additional recreational area, he said.

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