Kelly school district gets grant money for new well

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

BENTON, Mo. -- The Kelly School District, which has been struggling since February to keep its on-campus well in operation, will use an emergency grant to dig a new temporary well.

The emergency Community Development Block Grant for $20,251, announced Tuesday by the Missouri Department of Economic Development, will provide a guaranteed water supply until the school hooks into the newly created Scott County Public Water Supply District No. 4 sometime next year, superintendent Don Moore said.

The existing well failed in February when it began pumping sand and gravel. The district was able to clear the well's screens enough to resume pumping water, but at a much lower rate, Moore said. The district installed two large holding tanks at the school, which are filled each night for use during the day, Moore said.

"We haven't had a problem since February," Moore said. "We are just afraid it will block completely."

The district began planning for the temporary well more than a year ago but only recently received approval from the Missouri Department of Natural Resources, Moore said.

Without the temporary well, the school would have to shut down if it lost its supply of drinkable water, the economic development agency said in the news release announcing the grant.

The school district will not have to match the grant with local funds, Moore said.

Digging the well should take less than a week, but the work can't begin until laws requiring advertisements for contractors are fulfilled. The new well should be operational within about a month as a result, Moore said.

The water district main lines are being installed now, Moore said, adding that he's been told to expect to be on the new service within a year.

rkeller@semissourian.com

388-3642

Pertinent address:

4035 Highway 77, Benton, Mo.

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