The city will receive $1.7 million for sewer replacement on Kentucky Avenue. The Kentucky Avenue endeavor was the top priority among four projects suggested by city and state officials.
“The replacement is designed to eliminate stormwater overflows that often occur during heavy rains,” said Pineville Utility Commission Manager Bill Bunch. Bunch went on to say that the project is estimated at $2,000 per customer, so this funding was essential for any replacement work to be completed.
“This is a real shot in the arm for Pineville,” remarked Bunch. “A project of this magnitude is simply not possible” without the stimulus plan and similar programs. He noted that a similar project is needed on Virginia Avenue and that city officials are continuing to work for more of the stimulus package as well as other block grants through state and federal governments.
Pineville currently has one of only 15 combined sewer systems in the state meaning they collect both household wastewater and stormwater runoff. Some of the city’s sewer projects are nearly 100 years old.
“It’s obvious that the Department of Local Governments are considering a project of need for such funding,” said Bell County Judge Executive Albey Brock. “Of all the necessary sewer projects in Bell County, Kentucky Avenue is simply a priority.”
State Rep. Rick Nelson, D-Middlesboro, said the project has major implications for the community and beyond. “This will benefit residents and businesses not only on Kentucky Avenue but really helps everyone who lives, works, or visits here,” he said.
“We really appreciate the government officials for considering this need-based initiative,” commented Judge Brock. He further joked that the elimination of Pineville’s occasional “pungent aroma” would make his work day a little brighter.
The funding will be administered by the Department for Local Government (formerly the Governor’s Office of Local Development), in association with the Kentucky Infrastructure Authority.
“We’ve made sure the Department for Local Government and other state agencies know what a priority this is,” Nelson said. “I’m putting every effort I can into making these projects a reality. I think when people see what a difference this project has in our community, it only increases our chances of getting more project funding in the future.”
Sarah Miracle is a Staff Writer for the Daily News. She can be contacted via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.