New Sewage Program Facing Obstacles

Raw sewage flowing right into an Eastern Kentucky river it's been going on for years in one community.
But those who live there say an ongoing project designed to fix it is just causing more problems.
Carl Giles says workers installing water and sewer lines have torn the edge of his property up and haven't come by to fix it.

"The fence was not replaced," says Giles. "It was stretched across... put up by two ties."

The project is designed to stop a longtime problem. For years, raw sewage from many homes has flowed right into the Cumberland River. But Daniel Howard, the mayor of Harlan, says only half of residents are hooking up to the new lines.

"There have been some that have said 'my sewage has gone in that river for 45 years it's going in for the next 45'... we've got this mindset." says Howard.

"Most people in sunshine are upset because you're told you have to hook up." says Sunshine Resident Linda Napier.

And if you don't the city of Harlan is charging residents a sewer charge anyway.
Carl Giles says he's not paying it and not hooking up until his property looks a little better.

"It needs to be fixed and when it's fixed I'll consider hooking up." says Giles.

But his' water will be cut off if he doesn't pay his bill.
The mayor says he's determined to show residents that now is the time to correct the longtime problem so they can clean up the Cumberland River.
The mayor of Harlan says the city will credit residents with any sewer payments already made once they sign on and connect to the new lines.