Franklin County

Kentucky American criticized by landowners near pipeline

FRANKFORT — Kentucky American Water heard plenty of complaints Monday night when it held a meeting with landowners along the route of a controversial pipeline in Franklin County.

Spokesman Brian Wright said the company wanted suggestions for "enhancements along the route" from the landowners, who border a pipeline that will bring water to Lexington from a new treatment plant north of Frankfort.

He and project engineer Linda Bridwell said that could include things such as repairing rock fences and improving a small park near the Switzer covered bridge on Elkhorn Creek.

Almost all of the comments they heard from the crowd of 50 were negative. "How can you stand there tonight and talk about a nice park when the property owner is completely opposed to you being there in the first place," said Fran Pinkston, one of about 12 landowners in attendance.

The $162 million treatment plant and pipeline was approved by the state Public Service Commission in April, but a group called Citizens for Alternative Water Supply is challenging that decision in Franklin Circuit Court.

At the end of the two-hour meeting, Wright said he thought company officials had opened communication with the landowners. "There are people who are upset and have concerns ... because it's their land," he said.

The landowners had a different view.

"I am not convinced at the genuineness of their appearance," Pinkston said.