Survey for tie-ins, wells being planned for alternate water

Members of the Marion County Water Authority Board, the Marion County Commission and other officials and members of the public are shown a few moments before the meeting began on Feb. 6.

By Kathryn “Chazz” Hirschfeld
HAMILTON — At least two alternate water supplies are currently being investigated by the Marion County Water Authority, with the Marion County Commission offering to fund a tie-in to Franklin County as one of the solutions.
The water authority already has a $2.7 million grant in the works, with wells being planned for both the east and west sides of the county.
There is no match required for this grant and the engineer is already doing preliminary studies. Construction on the wells could begin as early as April of this year. According to the grant guidelines, both wells must be completed before September of 2026.
Regarding the tie-in through Vina and Franklin County’s water supply, ideas tossed around during the meeting between the water authority and the commissioners on Tuesday, Feb. 6, included having a 6-inch line ran from Franklin County into the Northwest part of Marion County and into an existing line.
Frustrated by more than 400 residents in some districts still needing water service, along with some customers recently being out of water for 14 days, the commissioners were strongly seeking solutions, while also putting their money where their mouths are and offering $200,000 each toward the tie-in, a total of $1 million.
The water authority’s investigation into the same idea called for the need of a $550,000 pumping station as part of the plans necessary to get the water to its designation. Their figures also indicated the connection itself could cost $1.5 million.
A heated, 90-minute long, back-and-forth debate ultimately resulted in a vote and plan to move forward with an independent study to see if gravity could be used to help move the water from the higher elevations of Franklin County, instead of having to put in a pump station.
Both sides were clearly wanting to create backup abilities to serve their citizens and customers and avoid any type of future water outages.
During the meeting, some of the commissioners noted their anger was caused not just by concern for those they serve, but also the numerous phone calls they themselves had received from understandably irate residents.
With its job of also serving the community, members of the water board expressed their own views, trying to share all options they were aware of, with board members ultimately calling for a joining of forces and acting as a team to remedy the recent problem of having only one water source.

See complete story in the Journal Record.
Subscribe now!