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County still looking for more waterlines

With one more waterline project in the works, county commissioners said they will stay focused on providing and protecting safe drinking water.

Wednesday, October 03, 2001

With one more waterline project in the works, county commissioners said they will stay focused on providing and protecting safe drinking water.

Commissioners are seeking talks between local water companies, asking for more state grant dollars, and looking at interconnections that will keep line supplies safe.

"This year, we’ve made a big dent in it," commissioner Jason Stephens said at last Thursday’s meeting, following reports about a Lecta area project.

Stephens then joined commissioners Paul Herrell and George Patterson in placing more water projects as a county priority.

"There are people without safe water to drink, or to even wash with, and they need it," Herrell said.

Patterson said he not only wants to see areas without public waterlines served in the near future but also would like to see companies interconnected, even if just for emergency backup measures.

"And we need to push like crazy to get wells drilled and land protected for Hecla," he said.

The county can apply for another major waterline project in 2002 – like the one currently being constructed along Ohio 93 – but there are concerns about capacity. In other words, will there be enough water to supply all those who use the lines?

The commission, and its newly-formed EMA task force on water, will seek a meeting between the county, Hecla Water, Lawrence Water, the Village of South Point, Ironton, Ohio-American and several other companies in the area.

Capacity, what areas could be served next, ways to work together, interconnections and other topics are just a few of the things that could be discussed at the meeting, commissioners said.

EMA deputy director James Ward will coordinate the meeting effort. Ward has also been charting unserved areas of the county, as assigned earlier this year by the commission.

Meanwhile, the Ironton-Lawrence County Community Action Organization has finished some work for tap assistance dollars on the McKinney Creek/Steel Trap area project.

The CAO will certify to Lawrence Water that assistance dollars will pay for taps, said Ralph Kline, community development director.

Kline said the CAO and county are working on a similar project with Gallia Water for the County Road 37 area.

A project near John’s Creek-Vermillion Road should come up maybe next spring, he said.