BROOKSVILLE — A public hearing on the Augusta Regional Sewer Authority wastewater treatment plant will be held on July 24 at 6 p.m. on the second floor of the Bracken County Courthouse.
According to John Yingling, with ARSA, the meeting is to answer questions by residents who will be customers of the new sewage plant.
“This meeting is for all new customers, not in Brooksville or Augusta, to ask questions about hooking up to the new sewage line,” Yingling said. “It’s for customers who have never hooked into a sewage system. When this goes online, every resident within 300 feet will be required to hook onto it, according to federal, state and local regulations that mandate hookup when sanitary sewer is available.”
Yingling said there are a few exemptions and property owners may request an extension on the connection time. In order to be eligible, property owners must provide documentation that their septic field was approved by the Bracken County Health Department, provide documentation that the system was installed within the last 10 years and provide a notarized stated from the health department that the system functions properly.
“If granted, the permit shall be valid for five to 15 years from issuance, depending on the age and reliability of their system,” he said. “If a system is exempted, and hooked up at a later date, 100 percent of the connection and tap fees, including cost of the grinder pump, will be incurred by the property owner at the time of hook up.”
The costs associated with that is estimated to be $6,000 to $7,000. If property owners sign user agreements for the new system prior to the August 2018 deadline, however, connection, grinder pump and tap fees will be waived, according to Yingling.
“The property owner will be responsible only for the cost of the connection from the grinder pump to the house (structure),” he said.
The new plant will replace two plants currently in Brooksville and Augusta, as both plants are outdated, according to Yingling.
“The plants had a 20-year life cycle on them,” Yingling said. “Both have passed that cycle by 20 years. Augusta and Brooksville infrastructure remains a problem. Inflow and infiltration of rainwater into the sewer system needs to be curtailed. Inflow is a clean water source (such as rainfall) entering the system through an illegal point connection.”
Yingling said rates for customers are expected to be available by the end of July and will be on the ARSA website.
“The cost of maintaining the old infrastructure of Augusta and Brooksville will come initially from the revenue of the $12.79 surcharge — this will be to cover repair and improvements. Hopefully, improvements to the infrastructure now will help defer future maintenance costs as it continues to age. ARSA inherits all the outdated and aged infrastructure of both cities once the new WWTP comes on line,” he said.
Those who will be affected by the change should receive a notice in the mail about the public meeting soon.
Yingling also said the funding for the project has been approved.
According to Yingling, ARSA has received a rural development loan of $3.2 million, a rural development grant of $2.8 million, a Kentucky infrastructure loan of $6.29 million with $1.3 million of it forgiven and a grant for $100,000 with the total project cost estimated at $12.39 million.
Yingling said the plan is to have the new treatment plant online by early 2021. It will be located 2 miles north of Brooksville at Kentucky 19 and Locust Creek.
“We can take care of Augusta, Brooksville and Bracken County residents with this plant,” he said.