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Fiscal Court agrees to partnership to build water line to Louisville Water Co. main

By JIM BROOKS
Nelson County Gazette / WBRT Radio

Tuesday, Aug. 17, 2021 — Following a discussion that touched on possible future rate increases, Nelson Fiscal Court approved a resolution committing it to a partnership that will build a water main from the City of Bardstown to a Louisville Water Co. water main near KY 245 and Lotus Road in Bullitt County.

Judge Executive Dean Watts, right, and Magistrate Keith Metcalf during an earlier meeting of Nelson Fiscal Court.

According to Judge Executive Dean Watts, the partnership between county government, the City of Bardstown and the North Nelson Water District is to build at least a 16-inch diameter water main from the area of the Four Roses complex in Bullitt County to the city limits of Bardstown, where the line will connect to a 12-inch main owned by the city.

The line is expected to add about 4.5 million gallons per day to the city’s water supply, essentially doubling the city’s capacity for fresh water.

County engineer Brad Spalding said the line size may change once the project is bid out, but the project should meet the city’s water needs for the next 15 to 20 years, he said.

The county is contributing $5 million to the water main construction costs; the overall cost of the line is expected to be about $10-11 million. The city and the North Nelson Water District will share the remaining cost of the water main. The water district will own the line and sell the water it supplies to the city.

Judge Executive Dean Watts said the federal money for infrastructure projects was helping to solve a problem that’s been facing the community for years — how to insure a longterm water supply.

Magistrate Gary Coulter asked about the line’s construction spurring possible rate increases for water customers. He agreed the project was a good one, but was concerned how rate increases might impact county residents.

MOVE TO ZOOM. Due to Watts’ recent positive COVID-19 test, Tuesday’s fiscal court meeting was moved from in-person to a Zoom videoconference. Watts attended the meeting and reported his symptoms were akin to a head cold.

COVID AT THE JAIL. Nelson County Jailer Buck Snellen reported that six inmates at the jail have tested positive for COVID-19, resulting in the need to quarantine a total of 44 inmates.

Snellen reported that none of the staff have tested positive for COVID, and that another round of tests will be conducted later this week.

The results of the air quality study of the jail should be completed sometime this week, Watts noted.

Sheriff Ramon Pineiroa noted that in discussions about possibly closing the county jail, it is necessary to consider how such a move will affect local law enforcement.

Closing the jail would create problems for the sheriff’s office by increasing the time officers have to deal with transporting prisoners to jail and from jail to court — all of which would increase the cost of handling prisoners for the sheriff’s office.

SHERIFF’S DEPARTMENT. The court approved buying out the remaining contract on a officer who wishes to come to work for the Nelson County Sheriff. The buyout is cheaper than hiring a new deputy and the costs for the academy and additional training,

The new deputy will have a similar stipulation in his contract — if he leaves before his two-year anniversary, he or his new employer must pay a portion of his training expenses.

TAX HEARING TUESDAY. Nelson Fiscal Court will hold a special tax hearing and meeting at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 24, 2021 to take public input on the proposed county tax rate. Watts said he expects there to be a first reading on the tax rate, which will be the same rate as last year’s tax rate.

In other business, the court:

— approved a quit claim deed for a piece of land that had been platted at the end of Wickliffe Road in Bloomfield for a cul-de-sac that was never built. One individual owns the tracts that had been platted and has recombined them, and wishes the county to remove the cul-de-sac from the county’s platted roads and deed it back to the owher.

The court authorized Wattts to sign the quit claim deed.

CLOSED SESSION. The meeting ended with an executive session regarding real estate related to industrial park property. The court met in private for approximately 53 minutes.

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