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Elizabethtown soon could be extending its wastewater treatment beyond city limits.
The city has prepared a memorandum of understanding with Hardin County Water District No. 2 to create a perimeter program that would expand the city’s wastewater services to properties outside of city limits but within its wastewater planning area.
Under the terms of the agreement, which is in rough draft form, collection systems would be installed under the water district’s management to align with design criteria and specifications compatible to the city’s collection systems. The collection systems installed would cross a point of collection with Elizabethtown’s system as specified by the city.
Under the agreement, Elizabethtown would charge and the district would pay the standard retail rate charged to Elizabethtown customers. The city would maintain ownership of the collection systems.
Elizabethtown Executive Assistant Charlie Bryant said the water district would manage the system and retain the property owners under the program as customers. The district also would maintain and repair the systems, according to the agreement.
The city could assume control of customer service by annexing properties within the program. Bryant said this would make annexation of properties easier because the city would already own the lines and the system. After annexation, the city would take responsibility for all repair and maintenance to those systems accepted.
The memorandum comes after the city and the water district participated in a perimeter sewer study performed by Strand and Associates indicating opportunities were available for the two entities to work together in offering expanded wastewater collection. The city has a reserve wastewater treatment capacity available to residents outside of city limits and the water district desires to assist those residents who want access to wastewater collection services, according to the agreement.
James Jeffries, general manager of HCWD No. 2, said Tuesday that the district’s attorneys haven’t reviewed the memorandum draft. Jeffries said the two entities are in the early stages of the program and still are working on a framework to operate from.
The city approached the district, Jeffries said, after it received several requests from property owners just outside of city limits who want to access city sewer services. The city, as a policy, has denied access to sewer services for those residents in the past, but Jeffries said the program is an interim solution until the city grows its city limits and annexes those outlying properties.
Jeffries said it is not clear yet who would cover installation costs for the collection systems, but some developers and property owners have said they would pay for the lines if they could gain the service.
Bryant said the cost burden would depend on the type of project. Some developers may choose to install their own lines while the city or district may get grants to cover costs on others. Bryant said other projects may require property owners to share a portion of the cost.
Jeffries also said it is a new venture for both the city and the district and a new type of partnership for the state.
“We don’t think this kind of arrangement exists anywhere else in the state of Kentucky,” he said.
Once an agreement is reached, it must be reviewed by the Public Service Commission of Kentucky.
Bryant said there is no immediate timeline for adoption, and tweaks and additions are expected to get the language comfortable for both parties.
Marty Finley can be reached at (270) 505-1762 or firstname.lastname@example.org.