Water dispute between two counties heats up

By: Jerrika Insco Email
By: Jerrika Insco Email

With a lawsuit filed, a water dispute between Floyd and Knott County officials is heating up in court.

It all started more than ten years ago when an agreement was sign on the county line.

Water is something everyone uses every day.

For some people in Knott County, they get their water from Southern Water and Sewer District in Floyd County.

"We are providing them water that their own county could not provide them at the time this agreement was entered into," said Floyd County Attorney Keith Bartley.

More than ten years ago, officials from both counties signed an agreement on the Floyd/Knott County line.

That agreement allowed Southern Water and Sewer in Floyd County to give some Knott County customers water.

But Knott County officials say the contract states that by 2005, they were supposed to have their water lines back.

Water lines they say Knott County coal severance money funded.

"Those customers were supposed to be theirs until we can take those customers back and provide water for those customers. And now we do have the infrastructure in place to do that," Alice Ritchie, the board chairwoman at Knott County Water and Sewer.

Now with a lawsuit filed by Knott County officials, the water dispute might get even stickier.

"I'm hoping that we can settle this without involving the courts very much," said Ritchie.

"We think that the lawsuit is baseless, essentially because the lawsuit required Knott County and it's water district to take certain actions before Floyd County's water company was required to act at all," said Bartley.

Bartley says those actions include putting water lines in areas throughout Knott County.

A motion hour for the dispute is set for Thursday at 10 a.m. in Knott County Circuit Court.

Bartley says he filed a motion that the case be transferred to Floyd County Circuit Court for further action.

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