Commission hopes for help on sewer

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, November 9, 2005

Local leaders are hoping a recent trip to Washington, D.C. will pay off in the form of federal grants for the Union-Rome Sewer District.

They're asking eastern end residents to write their elected officials and stress the point again that the money is sorely needed in Lawrence County.

Lawrence County Commissioner Jason Stephens, Doug Cade, of E.L. Robinson Engineering, and Tim Porter, sewer district manager, were among those who visited the offices of Ohio's U.S. congressional representatives and U.S. senators, explaining the county's need for grant funding to pay for a planned expansion and

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improvements to the sewer system. The improvements to the system have been mandated by the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.

&#8220I think it was productive, but there is a lot of work left to do,” Cade said of the trip. &#8220It's important to get as much grant funding as we can. We're asking for $14 million now but we'll need $24 million (total) over the next 10 years.”

Cade said $14 million is needed for

the new plant. It will be large enough to accommodate the planned RiverWalk Community in Union Township. Another $10 million is needed to extend service to homes and businesses that are within the district's borders but not currently served by it, such as North Huntington Heights and Bradrick Circle. Expanding the system will also allow the county to meet the needs for future development - something they say is on the horizon.

&#8220When they get the (Chesapeake) bypass finished and if we get the Merritt's Creek connector (linking the Proctorville area with Barboursville, W.Va.) the eastern end is going to explode,” Stephens said.

Plans are in the works for a second trip to Washington, D.C. early next year and to Columbus to meet with state legislators.