Public Hearing Set in Proposed Closure of Lovelaceville Water Plant
A small Ballard County Water District may shut down and leave its nearly 50 customers without water service.
The Kentucky Public Service Commission seeking public input next week on the Lovelaceville Water Company's planned closure.
PSC Communications Director Andrew Melnykovych says the company has been unsuccessful finding a buyer for the troubled system.
“Basically in a nut shell, the company is uneconomic to operate," said Melnykovych. "It’s not profitable because it’s a privately owned water utility, it can not receive the same kind of grants and low-interest loan funding that public-entities like water districts are eligible to receive. The system needs something north of $100,000 in repairs and for a system that’s got 45 or so customers, a number of whom are not paying their bills, that’s just a real tall order.”
Melnykovych says the PSC is trying to hasten the closing process to give the company's customers time to find an alternative water source before winter.
“The commission will want to move as expeditiously as possible to reach a decision in this simply because you don’t want to get into a situation where if the system is shut down the options available to the folks there in Lovelaceville are going to be either drill a well or put in a cistern," said Melynkovych. "Neither one you want to be doing when the weather’s real cold."
An informational meeting for customers will take place in the Lovelaceville United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall on September 16th
On September 17th, the public evidentiary hearing will begin at 9 AM central time at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet Office in Paducah. Lovelaceville customers will be able to communicate directly with PSC members in Frankfort via videoconference. The hearing will also be streamed live on the PSC website.
Lovelaceville Water Co. is the only party to the case.
The PSC is an independent agency attached for administrative purposes to the Energy and Environment Cabinet. It regulates more than 1,500 gas, water, sewer, electric and telecommunication utilities operating in Kentucky and has approximately 85 employees.