Editor’s note: In Martin County, Kentucky, cancer and other illnesses are on the rise. People are demanding safe, clean water. Without solving anything, a 49% increase in the cost of water is now proposed by the water department.
MARTIN COUNTY, KY — I didn’t go to the water department meeting about the rate hike because no one was allowed to ask questions. It was at 8 a.m. in the morning. I’m not going to drag myself out at 8 in the morning and you can’t say anything. There’s always deputies there, too. A Kentucky State Trooper grabbed Gary Hunt [who was angry about his water shut off] by the throat at the emergency fiscal court/water meeting, trying to choke him down. The sheriff was sitting right by and never attempted to restrain Gary. Nobody said a word. All he had to do was sit between them.
They’re raising the cost of water now, supposedly to fix the water system. They want to raise it 49%. My bill, which is for 2,000 gallons, will go to $39.47 from $26.50. They’re putting a band-aid on something. You can’t get one part fixed and put a band-aid on the other.
Where did all the money go? Grants were given. It was up to our county judge to distribute it, but instead of working on the infrastructure or water with the $3 million grant, they did something totally different with the water. We’ve asked where the money went. We understand you have to pay workers but what about the rest?
People will have to do something. We can’t keep letting it go. The original water plan was to serve 600 people. Now it has 3,500 customers with few upgrades. They had leaks, made a joke, fixed leaks with quick glue, but did not have maintenance for years. You’re supposed to do maintenance on tanks often, and there’s no engineer coming in and making sure everything is running. Then they throw those chemicals in and have no chemist. People are complaining of rashes and burning areas. It’s chemical burns. It happened to me as a child and I know.