Macedonia Hill water project to get $250K grant

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 20, 2021

Project start of goal to bring reliable water to townships

COLUMBUS — Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine announced $250,000 in grant funds on Friday to go toward the purpose of resolving a longstanding water issue in Lawrence County.

The funding will cover the planning and engineering design for a project that will provide safe drinking water to 50 residents in the Macedonia Hill area who currently do not have a safe and reliable supply.

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“We are very, very satisfied that this is the first step in some big things coming for Lawrence County citizens,” said Dave Lucas, the president of the Lawrence County Rural Water District, which was established in August 2018. “We believe that this is an indicator of greater things to come. We are very satisfied the state has realized that there are people out in these Appalachian hills that desperately need this.”

The goal of the Lawrence County Rural Water District is to bring running water to all underserved areas of the county, including Macedonia, Fayette Township, Rome Township, Symmes Valley and Windsor Township.

The Macedonia Hill area is only the first step and one of the toughest and most expensive parts of the larger goal.

“This first part is about $4 million dollars,” Lucas said. “It is costly because it is all rock and it goes uphill. We have to put a pump station in. But once that is done and we move through the other parts of the project, it should be less expensive.”

Lucas said he talked to DeWine during a visit to Lawrence County when DeWine was running for the governor’s office and he stressed how important this project was to him.

“So about six weeks after he was elected, I called him and he has worked hand-in-hand with us to help us get this started,” Lucas said.

The Macedonia Hill funding is part of a larger $3.7 million package of in H2Ohio grants that will go to several local communities to help improve drinking water quality and to repair or replace aging water and wastewater infrastructure.

“Many of these systems have degraded to the point that they’re a threat to public health because improvement projects are often much too expensive for our smaller communities to handle on their own,” DeWine said. “All of these projects are long overdue, and we’re excited to contribute toward improving water service and quality of life in the areas of the state where H2Ohio’s help is needed the most.”

More than $15.3 million in H2Ohio grants have been awarded by Ohio EPA since the launch of the initiative in 2019.

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