County Commission – Macedonia Hill project to receive $250K H2Ohio grant for rural water access

Published 12:00 am Monday, October 25, 2021

On Tuesday, Dave Lucas, the president of the Lawrence County Rural Water District, told the Lawrence County Commissioners about a new grant from the state for getting running water to rural parts of the county.

He said he was excited to announce that the county will be receiving an H2Ohio grant of $250,000 for the planning and engineering designs for the Macedonia Hill area.

“$250,000 pays for the entire plan, all the engineering, so no matter what happens from here on out, we can slap down the blueprints,” he said. He thanked Hecla Water and Aqua Water for their assistance on the project.

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Lucas said the project began five years ago after a woman pointed out that 50 families in the Macedonia Hill area did not have running water and the rural water district was established to get running water to parts of the county that don’t have it.

“This is going to happen, this is only the beginning,” Lucas said. “This is a dream come true.”

The Macedonia Hill project will cost approximately $4 million because of the need for a pump station to get enough water pressure to get the water up hills and the construction of the pipelines.

Lawrence County Common Pleas Judge Andy Ballard spoke to the commissioners about a letter regarding Rich Blankenship’s resignation from Star Justice Center’s Facilities Governing Board due to getting a new job and can’t attend meetings of the board anymore.

Blankenship’s term doesn’t expire until 2023 so the commissioners need to appoint someone to fill the vacancy.

“Previously, we have come to the commissioners with recommendations, and that is all it is, is a recommendation. It is up to (the commissioners) to make a motion to fill that vacancy,” Ballard said before recommending Natalie Adams, who works at the CAO as a Director of Integrated Behavioral Health.

He added that she checked and being on the board does not conflict with her duties at the CAO.

Ballard asked for an appointment letter to present to Star Justice Center when the commissioners make their decision.

The commissioners went into executive session to discuss the matter and then came back out to announce they had appointed Adams to fill the position on the facilities governing board.

Blankenship was serving in his third term on the board for Lawrence County. It is an unpaid voluntary position.

In other items on the agenda, the commissioners took the following actions:

• Approved the website service and license agreement between Pivot Point and the Lawrence County Treasurer’s Office. The agreement has been reviewed and approved by the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office.

• Approved appointing Lawrence County engineer Patrick Leighty to serve on the District 15 Public Works Integrating Committee for a three-year term beginning October 2021.

• Approved the wage negotiations on a three-year contract between Lawrence County Child Support Enforcement Agency, the Lawrence County Commissioners and AFSCME.

• Renewed floodplain permits for the Symmes Valley Local Schools’ “dugout,” located on 13959 State Route 141; Jim Herrell-Stream maintenance project, located at 238 Township Road 101; Paul Anthony Herrell-Stream maintenance project, located at 13269 State Route 141; Township-Grading, culvert, paving and ditch maintenance projects located on Township Road R.O.W.; Rusty Hunt, Filling and grading, stream maintenance and top-soil removal projects located on County Road 65 and Township Road 192N; Rusty Hunt, filling and grading, stream maintenance and top-soil removal projects located on 8055 State Route 775; Norman R. Humphrey II, filling and grading project, located at 230 Private Drive 422 Township Road 101; Windsor Township.-grading, culvert, paving and ditch maintenance projects located on Township Road R.O.W.; Marsha J. and Steven Douglas Whaley, filling and grading project, located at 7054 County Road 1; Cecil R. Townsend, filling and grading project, located at 334 County Road 181; and Jay A. and Debra Hatcher, filling and grading, residential structure and boat ramp projects, located at Private Road 8358 County Road 1.