Polk sets temporary water line extension policy: residents to pay up to $5k each

Published 5:31 pm Thursday, September 25, 2008

Commissioners asked engineer Dave Odom to come back next month with a complete draft of the policy, which may also include different provisions for extending water lines to developments.

The county also decided to seek bids for several water line extensions requested off a Broad River Water Authority (BRWA) line being constructed through Green Creek to connect to the Inman-Campobello Water District (ICWD). Those bids include contruction of lines along Blackwood and Bluegrass roads. The county has received estimates for those roads at $86,000 and $18,000 respectively.

Deborah Wilson asked commissioners to seriously consider ways to help homeowners pay for the water line extensions because she doesn&squo;t know how she can afford the costs. She said she sat through the meeting and listened and she didn&squo;t know whether to cry or get up and leave.

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&dquo;I don&squo;t know where this money is going to come from,&dquo; Wilson said. &dquo;I haven&squo;t got it and I don&squo;t know what to say other than I need your help. Now I&squo;m sitting here saying, &39;Lord, I&squo;ve asked for water and don&squo;t know how to pay for it.&39;&dquo;

Gary Curtis, Green River Church pastor, said he agrees with Wilson that there are a lot of people who don&39;t have water and don&39;t have that kind of money.

&dquo;Please don&squo;t price us out of this,&dquo; Curtis said.

He spoke of a 93-year-old woman in his church whose well has gone dry and who is having to go to the laundromat to wash clothes and buying water for other normal uses. Curtis also said in some parts of his area people have water but the quality is poor. He said about 10 years ago his parsonage drilled a well and it has sulfur in the water.

&dquo;We live with it, but it&squo;s not pleasant,&dquo; said Curtis.

Polk County owns the line that is currently being constructed in Green Creek and is able to put extensions on that line for those residents who need water. The county&squo;s contract with ICWD includes that ICWD receives all tap fees for any water coming off that water line. Tap fees for residents will likely be in the $1,200 to $1,500 range.

The county will be able to pull 600,000 gallons per day of water from the line that will be coming from BRWA in Rutherford County.

Commissioners spent much of their three-and-a-half-hour meeting Monday discussing water issues. The board has reviewed other water extension policies and has received many requests from residents wanting county water service.

Commissioners agreed Monday to run extension lines from the county&39;s middle school wells to a few residents on Silver Creek Road at the low bid cost of about $28,800. The residents have already agreed to pay $5,000 each for the water line extension.

Commissioners also agreed Monday to do a draw down test on the well at Polk Central School in Mill Spring in hopes that it could serve as a backup water source to the middle school well system. Commissioners will first need permission from the Polk County school board since the school system owns the well. Commissioners are also getting estimates on connecting those well systems in case the Polk Central well can serve as a backup source.