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Firm seeking nearly $100,000 from city

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By Molly Haines

A bill for nearly $100,000 is at the heart of a controversy between the city of Owenton and a central Kentucky architecture firm.
MSE of Kentucky, which was contracted to construct phases one and two of the Severn Creek water project, is seeking $99,000 from the city of Owenton.
The firm was contracted for the first phase of the project in 2005, which included upgrades and repairs to lines and other equipment.
The second phase of the project, which was designed to build a line from Severn Creek to Owenton, became unnecessary when Kentucky American Water received approval to run a waterline from its plant in southern Owen County to Owenton.
Owenton Mayor Doug West said MSE was in charge of designing phase two, as well as figuring what the estimated cost would be.
“In May of 2006, the state sent a letter (to MSE) telling them to go on with phase one, but to discontinue phase two,” West said.
MSE sent a bill to the city in 2012 for work on phase two, but West said the bill should have been sent when the work was done.
“They said the reason they didn’t send bills for phase two is because they knew the city didn’t have the money at the time,” West said. “If they hired me to do a job I’d go ahead and send the money, not wait until years later.”
The City of Owenton received grant money for both phase one and two of the project, but the money for phase two was reconverted for county roads that did not have water.
“We wanted the money to stay in the county,” West said.
City Attorney Mitzy Evans is working on negotiating with MSE, West said.
In other city council news, at its March 5 meeting, the city voted to advertise for bids for repair and work on street curbs around the city.
The city recently received $28,000 from the state for the work.
The council also decided to have surplus property at 125 East Perry Street appraised. West said the city is looking to sell the vacant lot, with the stipulation that whoever purchased the property would build a house or apartment on it.