Buckhorn expands waterlines with abandoned mines funding

Amelia Holliday — Staff Reporter

October 30, 2013

BUCKHORN—Water service in the Buckhorn area will be expanding after the city signed an agreement with the Abandoned Mine Lands (AML) program last week to have waterlines laid in two communities by the end of next year.

Buckhorn Mayor Pat Wooton said the cost of running waterlines to Cam Johnson Branch and Otter Creek Road would be around $915,000, an amount that could not have been acquired by the city on its own.

“Abandoned Mine Lands provides a great service across the eastern part of the state getting water to places that think they’d never have public water,” Wooton said.

Wooton explained crews will start the projects, which would make municipal water available to around 20 additional customers, in the summer of 2014 and would likely be completed before the summer was over.

“As those projects go, they’re not — of course they’re important to us and they’re obviously important to the people we serve — but they’re not real big projects,” he said.

Wooton has been working to expand waterlines in Buckhorn, which currently purchases its water from Hazard, since before being appointed as mayor of Buckhorn earlier this year. He explained that to continue working toward solving the water supply problem in the area the city plans to keep customer costs from rising by preparing for the future and will try to spend any extra money received on supplies to help if the need arises, like an extra pump if the current water pump were to break. He added that completing waterline projects such as this will help with breakage issues that have been problematic in the past.

“This project, it’s going to let the water come from Buckhorn proper to us on a more dependable route, less chance of a slide taking out the waterline or something like that,” Wooton said.

Wooton said this is a big step in the right direction and he and those in the city will continue working towards bettering Buckhorn’s water service, with the ultimate goal being a water treatment plant built for the area.

“We’re just excited to be able to provide water services to these areas, which I’m sure there are folks living in both areas who thought they’re never see water services in their lifetime,” he said.