Aug. 7, 2012 — The Morehead Utility Plant Board expects to be fully reimbursed for $5.8 million in damages to its wastewater treatment plant in May 2010.
General Manager Mike Nickell describes the repair work as the plant’s biggest challenge.
“If we have another flood at that level, where we’ve spent $5.8 million, our cost would be diminished tremendously,” Nickell said. “We might have up to a half a million dollars’ worth of damage. So we put some things in place to keep us recurring.”
The board has spent nearly $5.8 million for repairs, including a new generator, flood gates and electronic equipment.
The board discussed updated flood expense figures July 31 at its regular monthly meeting. Nickell said $113,943 has come from its insurance carrier, the Kentucky League of Cities, for “big ticket” items. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has repaid the board for $1.6 million.
“And to take that to the next step, I anticipate getting all of Phase II,” Nickell said.
The board applied for $2.4 million for Phase II final closeout projects. Applications are on file with FEMA and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
“It’s a long process,” Nickell said. “If we get this other reimbursement, we’ll be in good shape.”
The May 2, 2010, rains caused the plant’s 2,800-square foot basement to flood completely. Water gushed through the flood gates, submerging pumps, electric boards and transformers. There was four feet of standing water on the main floor.
Nickell said the new flood gates are “heavy duty” and protect the doors and new generator.
The board also received $3 million of emergency loan funding from KLC, with 30 percent forgiveness at one percent interest.
“So that’s $2.1 million we’ll have to pay back,” Nickell said.
He said building a new plant typically takes one year to 18 months.
“It’s phenomenal that we were back in full compliance by September,” Nickell said.
He said he doesn’t want to jinx the board but he’s optimistic about the reimbursements.
Nicole Sturgill can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 784-4116.