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Water wells drying up for some residents
by Jebb Johnston
Oct 12, 2013 | 174 views | 0 0 comments | 13 13 recommendations | email to a friend | print
For several eastern Alcorn County residents, the well is literally running dry.

With public water service for an area on the Alcorn and Tishomingo county line not available, the residents reached out to government officials for help.

Jay Coke, who lives on County Road 260, which is just east of Glen and north of Highway 72, said his family faces decisions on a daily basis of how their limited water supply will be used.

“I have to mentally think, we’re all fixing to take a bath … we can’t run the dishwasher,” he said.

Washing the car is not even an option.

“That’s just sad that here we are in 2013, and you’ve got people who can’t get water,” said 2nd District Supervisor Dal Nelms.

Five homes served by wells are interested in getting service from the certificated provider for the area, which is the Alcorn County Water Association.

“This would not only pick up the residents that are requesting it, but would be for future growth and for extension of services, which is just good for the county and good for the community,” said Northern District Public Service Commissioner Brandon Presley.

He met with interested parties on Friday, including several residents, Nelms, and representatives of the Northeast Mississippi Planning and Development District.

“We know this is a priority for y’all, and it’s a priority for all of us to try to get this fixed,” said Presley. “I think it’s come down to an issue of the funding, and we have not had the best success so far just based on the fact that there’s not a lot of funds available at this point.”

The water association previously agreed to pay a portion of the project, but the challenge is finding a source for the remaining chunk. Attempts to get grant funding have been unsuccessful.

With an estimated cost of around $60,000, according to the planning and development district, the project would include 10,000 lineal feet of 4-inch water line.

Funding options include pursuing a Community Development Block Grant again, but the opportunity to apply does not come around again until next year. A low-interest loan to the water association is also possible.

“We have Rural Development money we can loan them at 2 percent, and our terms can be as long as 10 years,” said Sharon Gardner, executive director for the planning and development district.

The residents are also willing to put up some money.

Presley said a meeting will be arranged with the Alcorn Water Association to discuss the options.
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