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Environment

City of Lexington could request extension to meet sewer improvement deadline

Lexington Division of Water Director Charlie Martin-March 1, 2022
Lex TV-screenshot
Lexington Division of Water Director Charlie Martin-March 1, 2022

Lexington has been working on stormwater and sanitary sewer upgrades for more than a decade. The improvements come as a result of a federal consent decree. Stormwater projects are completed but there are still over 50 outstanding sanitary sewer projects. The agreement between the EPA and the city calls for all work to be done by the end of 2026. During an update this week, Lexington Division of Water Director Charlie Martin told Council committee members a request for more time is very much a possibility.

“If we present a solid case to them why we are where we are right now, that is was not for a lack of significant and dedicated effort on the part of Urban County Government along with a plan on how we are going to remedy this with some additional time, I feel ok about it,” said Martin.

In addition to supply chain issues related to the coronavirus pandemic, Martin said securing easements for pipeline projects has been very challenging.

“We’re going through businesses parking lots, basically taking their parking spots away from them, limiting access to their businesses. Coming out of all the restrictions that went on in the pandemic, the last thing they wanted to hear from us is that somehow we’re going to find a way to further impede their business,” explained Martin.

Martin noted real costs for sewer projects so far have fallen more than a hundred million dollars below projections. But, Martin added he anticipates eating into some of those savings with future projects due to higher expenses.

Environment
Stu has been reporting for WEKU for more than 35 years. His primary beat is Lexington/Fayette government.
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