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County discusses water woes


Staff Writer

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It may be a new year, but the Commercial, Industrial and Agricultural Committee is still discussing the water projects that would aid homes with no or contaminated water on four roads in Washington County.

During the Jan. 5 meeting, county commissioner and CIA Committee chairman Todd Hensley made a motion to bring the project to the full commission in order to request funding. Hensley said the projects could serve between 12 and 14 families. He also said many of the families had no water this summer or only had contaminated water.

To aid the project, Hensley is looking to the funds from the recent tax increase.

“Right now, we’ve raised everybody’s taxes 40 cents and so far, we’ve not done much,” Hensley said. “That’s not entirely our fault, but the perception is that we’re sitting here on this cash fund that’s not going anywhere.”

The commission had tabled the discussion for a survey that is still being conducted to see if the areas qualify for low-to-moderate income grant money.

However, commissioner Mitch Meredith was concerned with precedence which he said had been mentioned during their last discussion on the topic.

“If we proceed in those specific projects, we set a precedent that is going to be very tough for future commissions,” Meredith said. “If your goal is to earmark money, I think you could approve whatever that number is for projects to be determined.”

The committee also discussed reimbursement; if they go forward with the project before the survey is finished, they could be reimbursed should grant money become available from the conducted survey.

With the amendment to request the option of reimbursement should grant money be offered for the project, the resolution will go to the budget committee for a recommendation before seeing the full commission.