Water treatment plant has even more debt

By: Angela Sparkman Email
By: Angela Sparkman Email

The Salyersville Mayor says the water treatment plant has more debt than the nearly $87,000 power bill. He says it adds up to $165,000 in overdue bills!

An independent accountant is expected to look at the Salyersville water treatment plant's books to figure out how it got into debt.

City council discussed the problems in a special-called meeting Thursday night.

The water will keep running at homes and businesses in Magoffin County, but leaders have to figure out how to pay for all the overdue bills.

Mayor James "Pete" Shepherd, who just took office three months ago, says it was caused by, "Just in my opinion, mis-management in the past and not watching what they're spending," he said.

AEP threatened to turn off electricity at the plant on Friday unless their nearly $87,000 dollar overdue bill was paid.

AEP is accepting $50,000 from the Magoffin County Fiscal Court to go towards the debt. That will keep the power on at the plant and water flowing to four thousand customers.

"The taxpayers are paying for it right now. It's ridiculuous. It's a joke. We need help in Salyersville," said resident Bill Prater.

The mayor says the water plant also owes thousands of dollars in overdue chemical bills and bank notes.

Shepherd says he is hiring an independent accountant to go over the water plant's books.

"After that, hopefully, we'll have a handle on how the finances are and what we do have, what they're taking in, what they're losing, and get a better game plan on what to do to get it in the right," said Mayor Shepherd.

Shepherd says he opposes any rate increases and wants to find other solutions towards paying off the debt.

He also says depending on what the accountant finds in the books, he is planning for an investigation into the financial problems.

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