Polk to extend water line to Green River Baptist Church

Published 11:06 pm Thursday, January 15, 2015

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by Leah Justice
Polk County Commissioners decided last week to spend up to $150,000 to run a water
line extension to Green River Baptist Church.
Commissioners met Jan. 5 and approved the extension by a 4-1 vote, with commissioner
Ray Gasperson voting against extension.
Commissioners met with Jeff Walker, Inman-Campobello Water District (ICWD)
General Manager about the extension.
Walker told commissioners ICWD would install the extension with Polk County only
paying for the materials.
In a December email, Walker suggested Polk County budget $125,000 for materials for
the water line, which would include a 12-inch line off the Poors Ford Road 20-inch line
and an 8-inch line down Green River Church Road. The total length of the extension is
2,140 linear feet along Poors Ford Road and 3,120 linear feet along Green River Church
Road. The extension will also include three fire hydrants.
During the meeting Walker said in order to support future infrastructure, the extension
along Poors Ford Road should be upgraded to a 16-inch water line. He suggested the
county budget $135,000 if commissioners decide to install a 16-inch water line. The
motion to approve construction was for the county to pay for up to $150,000.
Rev. Gary Curtis, pastor of Green River Baptist Church wrote the county in November
requesting the water line. Curtis said he was writing the county in regards to a request the
church originally made for a water line in June 2008.
“At that time, a new water line was brought through our community near the church,”
Curtis said in his letter. “We sent a request asking that we receive a water line as well.
The community was surveyed and the engineer made a proposal, however nothing has
been done.”
Gasperson spoke of another extension near Derbyshire where residents initially paid a
participation fee for the extension. When Derbyshire decided to run the line another route
and pay for the extension, residents’ participation fees were refunded, Gasperson said.
Gasperson also said if the county is headed towards having a committee with the county
and ICWD in the future, Polk should wait for that committee to make those types of
decisions. Commissioner Keith Holbert said the cost of waiting on a project such as the water line
extension could be three to four times the cost in the future. Walker agreed with Holbert
that the extension will probably cost more in the future.
Holbert said, “the thing about it is, Polk County’s going to need the water line” in the
Commissioner Shane Bradley said he doesn’t see the point in putting projects off until
Commissioner chair Tom Pack said it was 2008 when the church first requested the line
and now it is 2015.
Polk County has a water line extension policy where extensions requested not along a
main trunk line are paid for 60 percent by the county and 40 percent by residents who
request the extension. Commissioners did not mention the Green River Church Road
extension including a participation fee.
Polk County has spent significant funding over the past few years running water line
extensions, some requested and some serving as main trunk lines. Polk County owns a
main line that the Broad River Water Authority ran through Polk in order to connect with
ICWD. Polk is able to run extensions off the line and purchase water, which is
administered by ICWD.
The most recent extension is currently under construction from the Mill Spring
crossroads to the Sunny View community along Hwy. 9 in order to get public water to
the Sunny View Fire Department and Sunny View Elementary School. Once that
extension is complete, all Polk County’s fire departments and schools will be off wells
and served by a public water source.
The county has run a couple water line extensions without requiring participation fees,
including to the Green Creek Community Center and to the Mill Spring Agricultural
For other requested extensions the county has charged a participation fee.
See chart for examples of water line extensions and the costs in Polk County over the past
few years. The list does not include all water line extensions completed in Polk County.
The figures were obtained from the Polk County Finance Department.

Polk County water line extensions
Project Total cost Participation fee
Silver Creek $28,800 $10,000
Blackwood Rd. $23,000 $9,200
Claude Gilbert $18,700 $8,200
White Oak $1,003,080 $359,505
Green Creek CC $17,307 $0
Melvin Hill $20,950 $6,168
Ag center $19,733 $0
Meadowbrook $69,651 $27,860

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