During the April 20 meeting of the Pike County Fiscal Court, the recently-announced surcharge request to the Kentucky Public Service Commission (PSC) by Mountain Water District (MWD) was discussed, with the court attempting to come up with a plan to prevent the surcharge.

Earlier this month, MWD sent a request for a hearing with the PSC to request a 3 year surcharge that would add $5.87 monthly to customers’ water bills if approved.

“Over the years, Mountain Water has been plagued by some of the same bad decisions that the fiscal court has been plagued with,” said Pike Judge-Executive Ray Jones.

Jones said that one of those bad decisions was the district not setting aside money for the maintenance of infrastructure.

“There’s no money set aside just like there was no money set aside for the landfill or landfill expansion,” Jones said. “It would be my proposal that we use a portion of the funds we receive from the American Relief Plan that President Biden has ushered through to assist Mountain Water.”

Jones said the county could receive as much as $11 million for infrastructure from the plan.

“I would like to set aside $3.5 million of that $11 million and earmark it for the Mountain Water District to address their water loss problem,” Judge Jones said. “We believe, after talking to the chairman of Mountain Water District, if we can commit $3.5 million to Mountain Water District, that they would be able to forego the surcharge.”

Jones explained, however, that the county hasn’t received the money yet from the American Relief Plan.

“The money will be dispersed in two separate allocations,” Jones said. “We also haven’t received the guidance yet from the treasury.”

The county hopes to receive the money and guidance soon, Jones said.