Journal-Times (Grayson, KY)

December 5, 2012

Special districts: Rattlesnake Ridge Water

Part of a series

By Keith Kappes - Publisher
Journal-Times

Dec. 5, 2012 —     State Auditor Adam Edelen’s new website listing special districts in Kentucky shows that the Rattlesnake Ridge Water District in Carter County is fully compliant with existing state laws.

    That’s a change from last month when the auditor’s office listed the water district and the Olive Hill Housing Authority as being non-compliant for not providing all of the financial information requested before the website was launched.

    Chris Stamper, manager of the water district, said the website changed when the district’s most recent external audit was sent to the state auditor’s staff.

    “We were waiting to submit the most recent figures to make sure that the auditor’s website had current information on our finances,” Stamper said.

    Stamper said he was surprised to learn that the utility was among the state’s more than 1,200 special districts addressed by the state auditor’s efforts for more oversight and accountability.

    “We already are regulated by the Kentucky Public Service Commission, Kentucky Division of Water, Kentucky Department for Local Government, state and federal EPA and the U. S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development,” he noted.

     Rattlesnake Ridge Water District is the largest drinking water producer in Carter County and soon will be even larger when a $6 million expansion project is finished early in 2013.

    The water treatment plant is located on KY 7 at the intersection of Horton Flats Road, south of Grayson near Grayson Lake.

    It currently purifies lake water for nearly 4,100 households in Carter, Elliott, Morgan and Lawrence counties.

    The project will enable the district to increase its daily production capacity from 1.6 million gallons to 2.4 million gallons and provide a potential of 3.1 million gallons.

    “All of the regulatory agencies keep a close watch on public water districts in Kentucky and I’m proud to say that we are among the best,” Stamper said. “All aspects of our operations are carefully scrutinized and we like it that way.”

    Organized in October 1985, the water district has more than 700 miles of water lines, 10 pumping stations and 11 storage tanks with a total capacity of 1.5 million gallons.

    The district began treating its own raw water in 2001. Previously, it purchased water from the City of Grayson and resold to its customers.

    “We’re proud of what has been achieved in the last 27 years and we are looking forward to the benefits of this expansion,” Stamper added.

    Under Kentucky law, a special district may be established for any of 53 different purposes, including fire protection, water and sewer services, emergency medical services, airports, libraries and tourism.

    The Journal-Times is examining all seven special districts in Carter County in a series of weekly articles. Featured next week will be the Olive Hill Housing Authority.

    Keith Kappes can be reached at kkappes@journal-times.com or by telephone at 800-247-6142.