First phase of Scott County rural water project nears completion

Monday, March 8, 2010

HAYWOOD CITY, Mo. -- Work is moving along on Scott County's Public Water Supply District No. 4, with officials now looking to the second phase of the project.

"The storage tank has been erected and is scheduled to be finished by March 17," said Tim McIntyre, system manager. "Construction of the district's wells began on Feb. 16. Progress on the distribution lines has been hampered by poor weather, but the project is still on track for a late summer completion date."

There are three total phases of the project, each pertaining to a different geographic area of the county. Phase One covers the southern half of the county. Phase Two will focus on the northwest portion of the county, while the third and final phase will hook up those in the northeast part of the county.

Customers who have signed up in Phase One should have running water by the end of the summer also. So far, about 810 residences in the first phase have signed up for the services.

"Our goal is to start Phase Two immediately upon completion of Phase One," said McIntyre. "Right now, the only thing that's preventing us from starting on Phase Two [in soliciting bids and designing the project] is that we don't have enough users signed up."

Prior to beginning the design and bid process, there must be a total of 1,450 customers signed up for the two phases. Right now, the number is at about 1,300, according to McIntyre.

He urged anyone interested in joining the district sign up as soon as possible. There is a $150 signup fee, which guarantees users a meter and hookup to their house. Individuals must also sign a user agreement before they are counted as a customer.

Once water is running, bills will likely run $50 per user per month, said McIntyre. The first 1,000 gallons costs $30 monthly, while there is a $6.50 charge for each additional 1,000 gallons.

For someone who wants to have the meter and hookup but not immediately run water, there is a $30 minimum monthly fee, said McIntyre.

Phase One is an approximately $10 million project, with Phase Two slated to cost about $15 million. McIntyre noted that low construction costs kept the first phase less expensive, but those are now on the rise. For that reason, users can still sign up if they reside in areas covered by Phase One, but the cut-off for Phase Two will likely be more set.

"If you think you'll need this, sign up as soon as possible," said McIntyre. "If you don't know, it will be really expensive to in the future, or we may not even be able to serve you."

Public Water Supply District No. 4 is about six years in the making, although construction didn't begin until mid-June, said McIntyre. "The goal is to serve virtually every person in rural Scott County that's not currently served by a water district," he said.

Scott County Presiding Commissioner Jamie Burger said he's glad to see Phase One near completion.

"I know people are anxiously waiting for water that is treated so they don't have to go through all the hooplah for healthy, safe water," he said.

Although there is a cost involved, Burger said he believes it's well worth it for county residents.

"I think one of the best things you can do for your home is to get treated water," he said. "It's one of the best things you can leave your children and grandchildren."

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