Polk approves running water line to CooperRiis

Published 9:34 pm Tuesday, July 10, 2012

After watching a presentation on CooperRiis and hearing only support for Polk County to run and pay for extending water service to the healing center in Mill Spring, county commissioners approved the extension unanimously.
Commissioners met Monday, July 9 and approved extending a water line to CooperRiis Healing Center along Hwy. 108, including an additional 1,000 feet CooperRiis requested to increase safety.
The county will run the water line from the intersection of Hwy. 9 and Hwy. 108 to the property along Hwy. 108. CooperRiis plans to pay to tap on and extend the line from Hwy. 108 to its facilities.
Commissioners also agreed to draw up a contract for CooperRiis to agree to purchase a minimum of 80,000 gallons of water per month from the county. CooperRiis representatives have said they expect to purchase 140,000 gallons a month from the county, with more in the future once 10 additional planned homes are constructed, three of which are planned to be constructed this year.
Commissioners heard from several speakers, including a Powerpoint presentation from CooperRiis Executive Director and President Virgil Stucker.
Stucker said CooperRiis is an internationally respected program for mental health care and is fueled by philanthropy. He said the center has helped people from 37 states, including Polk County.
Stucker said the total cost to CooperRiis for getting the water service to the property is estimated at about $105,000. CooperRiis plans to add a second fire hydrant on the property.
“The value of having two fire hydrants would be very helpful for increasing life safety,” said Stucker.
Some commissioners were unsure in June whether to pay for all or some of the extension, but after hearing about CooperRiis’ donations to the community and support from the county economic and tourism development commission (ETDC), all commissioners were in favor of paying for the extension. The county is currently connecting its Mill Spring well site, located off Wolverine Trail at the middle school campus, to Columbus’ water line, which ends at Polk County High School. The county decided to connect the county’s system with Columbus’ system for back-up purposes.

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