PIKEVILLE, Ky. (WYMT) - Officials in Pikeville say their wastewater treatment plant is currently running at about 92 percent capacity. With many other projects on the horizon like a new shopping center and optometry school .... they say expanding their service is necessary.
The city is one step closer to having the funding for the multi-million dollar project.
Pikeville is receiving millions in loan and grant money for the new plant, which officials say will allow the area to continue growing.
The new plant will serve more than 3,000 homes and businesses in Pikeville and Coal Run.
City Manager Donovan Blackburn says, "The significance of this plant... it is in Pikeville and it serves our citizens but you also have to understand about 50 percent of the businesses in Pike County is what this plant services in cities of Pikeville and Coal Run."
The city is receiving 10.5 million dollars from a low interest rural development loan and a 4.5 million grant.
Blackburn says, "We are going to be able to save the tax payers quite a bit of money by utilizing the current location and footprint there. We currently have a 2 million gallon per day capacity, we will take it up to 4 million, with capability of 6 million per day."
The new plant will be located where the current plant is on Thompson Road. Officials say they will use the current footprint but will have all new equipment and a 'membrane system' that will be the first of its kind in Kentucky.
Officials say Pikeville has some of the lowest utility rates in the state and this new plant will allow that to continue.
Blackburn says, "It is important to servicing our community today but even more so for looking to the future and continuing to build economy."
As officials say this is economic development project with it being key to their efforts to keep moving forward and expanding.
Officials say this loan and grant money puts the city within about $5 million of the needed $22 million total for the project.