Vine Grove's water line project on schedule

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Council votes to raise water, sewer rates.

By Gina Clear

Vine Grove’s water line project is about 50 percent complete and progressing ahead of schedule.

At the Vine Grove City Council meeting Monday night, engineer Bob Woosley, president of Heritage Engineering, provided an update about the $1.17 million project to refurbish the water system paid for by a Base Realignment and Closure grant.

“If you look at the calendar, they are ahead of schedule,” he said. “All in all, things are moving.”

He said the contractor, Horsely Con­struction, plans to complete installing the new water lines throughout the city before going back to switch water service over from the old lines.

As the construction has progressed, Woosley said crews have uncovered new problems and will install more valves than originally estimated to deal with them.

“They’re finding new and interesting problems,” he said. “They’re finding things you can’t make up until you actually find it.”

He said once the switch from the old line begins, a large water outage lasting up to six hours can occur. Residents will receive notice before the outages occur.

By installing more valves, outage areas can be minimized, Woosley said.

The outage area will begin large and incrementally decrease each day as the conversation takes place, Woosley said. He added some residents may be more inconvenienced than others because they will experience outages several days in a row.

“It’s painful when you get to this point,” he said.

Once lines are switch­ed over, roads and yards will be restored.

The city council also voted unanimously to approve two ordinances allowing for rate increases to the city’s water and sewer rates.

According to the ordinances, water will increase from $13.40 to $14.07 for the first 1,000 gallons used and 40 cents for each additional 100 gallons. Sewer will increase from $7.76 to $8.54 for the first 1,000 gallons and 55 cents for each additional 100 gallons.

The increase will take effect in the July billing cycle.

“We don’t really want to do this, but we need it,” Councilwoman Donna Betson said before the vote.

Mayor Blake Proffitt thanked the council for their work.

“It’s been a long, hard battle to make sure the system is fiscally responsible,” he said.

In a previous meeting, Proffitt said the city purchases water from Hardin County Water District No. 1 and rates have increased twice since 2007.

The last rate increase for water came in December 2007 and for sewer in April 1999, according to the ordinances.

Gina Clear can be reached at 270-505-1746 or gclear@thenewsenterprise.com.

Other business:

Rachel’s Fun For Everyone Project, spearheaded by Rachel Ritchie, is hosting a 5K Walk, Run and Roll at James T. Alton Middle School in Vine Grove on June 14. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m. For more information, visit http://rachelsfunforeveryoneproject.com/event-909449. Ritchie also announced she received a $2,500 grant from the Bluegrass Pipeline and the Vine Grove Homemakers presented her with a $150 donation.

The council voted to extend the current cable franchise contract with Comcast until Dec. 31, 2015. The extension will allow the company to complete mergers and acquisitions with Time Warner and Charter Communications. The franchise is not exclusive, said city attorney Mike Pike.

The council voted to take money from the contingency fund to cover costs of spraying for mosquitoes. Proffitt said each 55-gallon drum of spray costs $3,300.