LJ pulls plug on contract; LWC selected

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By Mary Barczak

 LEBANON JUNCTION -- After years of discussion, the plug has been pulled on a water contract.

The Lebanon Junction City Council opted to discontinue its long-standing contract to purchase its drinking water supply from the city of Bardstown.

And the new supplier will be its current back-up utility -- Louisville Water Co.

At the monthly meeting, the group voted to switch entirely to Louisville Water.

“I feel like the future of the city and town are going to be in good shape,” said mayor Butch Sweat.

He said he has been working on this change for about five years now.

Sweat said the maintenance of the Bardstown lines have been costly and that people have been asking for better water pressure.

“Some people already have Louisville Water here and really like it,” he said.

Sweat said they wanted to make the move to go with the new company because the water pressure would be better given they are so close and there is no limit for how much water they can use. 

For example, during a drought, Bardstown could sometimes limit how much water LJ could use he said.

With the move, LJ will lose about 60 customers on Bardstown’s line in Nelson County, but Louisville Water has agreed to compensate the city for those.

The mayor said he hopes they will be able to pay off some more of the FHA loan that they took out to put in the line from Lebanon Junction to Bardstown with the compensation money.



. Currently the city still owes about $170,000 on it.In 1989, LJ entered into a water contract with Bardstown. It was set to expire in 2024.Bardstown Mayor William Sheckles said ending the water contract between LJ and Bardstown was not a big deal.He said the Bardstown council thought it would help LJ, but it also helps them because now they won’t have to fund an upgrade of the line between the two cities in the future.Sheckles said Bardstown will absorb those 67 customers that LJ lost in the process so the income will still be about the same.Presently, the city attorney Mark Edison is drawing up the final paperwork to be signed by Sweat and Sheckles.Other items that were discussed at the meeting:The state recently replaced the bridge on Highway 434 but has not installed handrails yet. Some of the councilmembers voiced concern that people might fall with it being a high trafficked area. The mayor said caution tape has been put up around the bridge. He said the state has not given him a timeline as to when they will complete the rails.Jenny Estepp, executive director of the Bullitt County Chamber of Commerce, visited the meeting to introduce herself to the council and ask them to attend the ribbon cutting for Main Street Treasures on August 16 at 11 a.m. “We really want to get Bullitt County connected and get better business growth for everyone,” she said.Sweat said the utilities bill for the community center was a little too high last month and wanted to see about putting a control box on the lights and air conditioning to monitor the usage. “We have to watch where our money goes,” he said. The council agreed with him.There was a first reading for the tax ordinance relating to rates on property and real estate. Sweat said they generally try to keep the rates in sync with what the state calculates. Edison said he should have those estimates to the council in Septemeber.The mayor mentioned that insurance for Old Fashioned Day was going to be due soon and asked the Old Fashioned Days committee to check into the cost.LJ Fire Chief Mark Shumaker Jr. told the council that the Shepherdsville Fire Department wants to donate a fire engine to them. He said it does have some items that need to be fixed, but it passed all of the tests. “I want to bring it down here and replace one of the ones we have here,” he said. Shumaker suggested the surplus truck then be donated to the Boston Fire Department. Councilmember Allie Phillips voiced some concern about where the truck would fit at the station. She said she thought the new truck would not fit in the left bay, where Shumaker said he was going to place it, because the turn is too sharp. “I’d ask you to tell the mayor and council when you’re going to drive the truck in so we can come and see,” she said. The council approved Shumaker’s request to accept the truck if he can get it to fit in the bay without destroying the building and approved donation of the white fire engine to Boston once rights are secured on paper for the donated one.Councilmember Mark Shumaker Sr. asked the council to consider creating an ordinance restricting the carrying of guns in town especially around children. “I’m worried about saving the children,” he said. “All it takes is one little rock to take the bullet where it needs to go.”  Councilmember Tim Sanders told Shumaker Sr. that he did not think it was right to put a restriction on people especially those who are responsible hunters and attend safety classes. The city attorney explained that the council cannot restrict someone’s ability to carry into a city building or anywhere else, but said he would try to draw up a related ordinance and present it to the council soon.The next meeting will be on Sept. 3 at 7 p.m. due to the holiday. The public is invited to attend.