County to Apply for CDBG Grant to Extend Water Lines

January 30, 2014
Dwayne Page
Mike Foster and Amanda Mainord

The DeKalb County Commission Monday night adopted a resolution making application for a $500,000 Community Development Block Grant for DUD to run water line extensions to areas of the county in need.

Amanda Mainord of Grassroots Planning & Consulting, grant administrator, said the project will serve thirty eight households on Tramel Branch, Oakley Road, Carter Lane, Old Givens Hollow, and the Dismal to Alexandria Road.

"There are six houses left to complete the (existing) water line on Tramel Branch and that's just a half mile left there. On Old Givens Hollow, there's nine houses there in a mile and three tenths. The Alexandria to Dismal and the first part of Oakley Road, there's actually thirteen houses there and that is in 2.6 miles. There is kind of a spot on Oakley Road where I call no man's land because there is one house in a whole mile so we're going to leave that. It's not cost effective to run a water line to serve one person or one household. To start at the other end of Oakley Road and go on to Carter Lane, there are ten houses there and that's just a mile and eight tenths," said Mainord.

The county's grant application will be through the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development, which if approved would assist the DeKalb Utility District in extending water lines into these areas of the county not already served.

The DUD would be responsible for paying the grant's local 20% matching requirement or $96,000 plus any additional funds required to complete the project.

Several residents in the area to be served showed up for a public hearing Tuesday night, January 7 at the courthouse expressing their desire for water services.

County Mayor Mike Foster said surveys were conducted to determine which areas could benefit most from this project. The public hearing was held as part of the grant application process.

According to Foster, many of the residents in the targeted areas have to live with poor quality water or little or no water. "I think it's a really important thing that we try to get water into some of these areas. Some of them (residents) have sulfur water and salt water. Some have no water. They are using cisterns . Some haul water and put it in a tank. Some just have seasonal water. When the spring gets dry in the summer they don't have water. Others have no water pressure much. It's in an area that really does need help. I've heard of them digging wells several hundred feet deep and not getting water," said Foster.

A similar grant was approved two years ago to extend water lines to a portion of this area but that project did not include everyone who needs water. "We did one grant that went (extended lines) from Liberty to Dismal. One went about half way up Dismal. Another one went up Dismal to Tramel Branch and turned right. It's just in sections that we've been trying to piece all this together. Now we want to come back down Dismal toward Oakley Road in that area," said Foster
The grant application is due by the end of February.

"We will send in the application in February. We'll probably be notified in October (if the grant is approved). If we get the money, we'll get started on this project," said Foster.

There are no guarantees that the grant will be approved. "There will probably be 125 applications. Last year they (state) funded 65 so we have about a 50/50 shot of being approved," Foster concluded.

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