FRANKFORT, Ky. (6/27/13) – A vast array of city, county, regional and state officials, along with members of the public, were on-hand to celebrate the official opening of the new Central City Water Treatment Facility on Wednesday, June 26th, 2013.Speaking to the large crowd, USDA Rural Development State Director Thomas G. Fern, of Lexington, summed up the completion of the much-needed plant by saying, "Many times important things do not get done because people just won't work together. This is an example of the opposite, with everyone working together. This project was necessary for not just Central City but the entire county if we are to attract new businesses."
Central City Mayor Barry Shaver echoed Director Fern's statement on how smoothly the water treatment upgrade progressed.
"It works so much easier when everyone works together," Shaver said. "This upgrade, which will allow the plant to produce over 7 million gallons of clean water daily, will hopefully cause industries to now take a closer look at locating in the Central City area and Muhlenberg County."
Shaver went on to thank the many county and state agencies, as well as Judge Executive Rick Newman.
"Just as important, I have to thank the members of the Central City Council for making the tough decisions, one of which involved an increase in water rates in Central City and throughout the county."
Shaver also recognized David Rhoades, noting "Dave is not just our city administrator, but also serves as our water superintendent. We thank him for taking care of all the many details."
The Muhlenberg Water Districts One and Three, along with a portion of McLean County in the Sacramento area, have suffered water shortages and lost opportunities for new business due to one simple fact, not enough water supply, according to several officials on hand.
These districts consume more than four million gallons of water each day, causing restrictions on usage during dry spells such as last year's long hot summer. The only portion of the county not served by the treatment plant is Greenville, which receives its water supply from Luzerne Lake.
"When we get up in the morning and turn on the tap, we have no idea of all that's involved in getting clean water from the source to your home or business. We are spoiled. We take so much for granted," Shaver pointed out.
To stress the point, the group was then given a tour of the facility to demonstrate all the technology involved in supplying fresh and clean water.
There is still a portion of the project left to complete by the contractor in charge. Mike McGhee, President of McGhee Engineering, in Guthrie, Kentucky, noted that an additional water tank near the Western Kentucky Parkway will be up and running soon, but could not give a firm date, stating that, "much of the work involved depends on what type of weather we get. However, this project, all in all, has gone very smoothly."
David Rhoades, who noted that the new facility did require a rate increase, said that the average residential water bill has now gone up "around 10 to 12 dollars in Central City", but could not give figures on rate increases on the water the system sells to McLean County. Even with the increase, the county has some of the lowest rates in the region.
After the event, Shaver told SurfKY News reporters that, "water will not be an issue anymore for future industry in the county. Before this plant was constructed, industries would not even consider us because of the lack of adequate water. Now when they take a look at us, we can hit the ground running."
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