Danville considers regional water network

February 24, 2004|LIZ MAPLES

By March 8, Danville City Commission hopes to decide whether the city should connect to a regional network of pipelines that would carry treated drinking water.

Commissioner Jamey Gay said he questioned whether Danville would benefit from hooking on to such a network. Instead he wants to see the city sell water to its neighboring cities. The plan shows that the regional network would center around Fayette County and then branch out to other communities, like Winchester and Nicholasville.

Don Hassall of the Bluegrass Area Development District said that Danville could join the network as an insurance policy, in case something happened to its source, Herrington Lake, or the water treatment plant.

"We're in the water producing business," Gay said. "We would love to sell water in the pipeline."

Later the Commission approved a $7,500 study of Herrington Lake that would examine how much water the city could pull from the lake without affecting Kentucky Utilities, the electric company that uses the water to generate electricity. The city needs the information before it could make a proposal to sell any more water.


In the meantime, Hassall said, the group would go ahead with plans to build a 30-million-gallon-a-day plant north of Frankfort.

Hassall said that Danville's proposal to sell water would have to be considered by the Bluegrass Water Commission, the governing body of the pipeline. Each city that is connected to the pipeline would have one voting seat on the commission.

Commissioner Terry Crowley questioned Hassall about how much influence Kentucky American, the company that owns Lexington's water system, would have on the commission.

The company could not, by law, have a voting seat on the commission.

Crowley said that even though the company doesn't have a voting seat he believed that as the largest customer the company would have "a lot of clout."

Lexington is trying to take over its water system, and Hassall said that he believed that both the city and the company were in favor of the pipeline.

Danville has been asked to sign a non-binding agreement to buy water and be connected to the pipeline. The agreement will be used to make cost estimates for construction of the plant and pipeline network. Even if the city signed on it could still back out.

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