Jefferson water sign-ups reach final stage

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 23, 2006

Residents who fall under the Jefferson Water Project will have one more chance to sign on to participate.

The Myrtlewood Water System is holding their final sign up this Saturday, March 25. Like the previous signups, representatives will be at the Jefferson Community Club from 9 a.m. until 11 a.m. and at Rangeline Church from 1 p.m. until 3 p.m.

The project need 300 signatures to move forward and the first two efforts did not secure the necessary number. Marengo County Commission Chairman Ken Tucker said this signup is extremely important and he wanted to remind everyone eligible to mark their calendars.

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“It is very important for us to get the word out to the people who have not signed up,” Tucker said. “We are at a critical point in this project. We have to have a certain number of people to make this worthwhile for the partners involved.”

After Saturday, there will be no more opportunities. Myrtlewood’s Kevin McKinney, who has worked with the commission to bring the project to Jefferson, said they are running out of time to get people on board.

“We have reached our deadline and now we have to have all of our paperwork and customer counts in to the USDA by April 12,” McKinney said. “We are down to the end.”

Signing up, McKinney said, took very little time and was easy to do.

“It’s a very painless process that only takes about three minutes,” McKinney said. “All they need is for people to let them know who they are, where their property is and sign the agreement. They let them know what their responsibility is and what the providers responsibility is.”

Signups bring a pre-construction cost of $100 ($50 sign up fee and $50 meter deposit), which is a great bargain compared to fees outside the project. The $50 deposit is refundable if people ever move from the project.

The preconstruction cost includes connection of the meter to the house with up to 300 feet of pipe.

If people do not sign up and later decide they want water run to their homes, the story is much different. Costs could be as high as $350 for a meter alone. If the lines have to be run across the road, the price could rise to $1,000.

Having McKinney, the town of Myrtlewood and Demopolis available to help, Tucker said, has been an enormous help in launching this project.

“We have been very fortunate that Myrtlewood and Demopolis have been willing to work with us,” Tucker said. “Once this project is in place, it will take care of 98 percent of the county as far as providing good, safe drinking water and that has been one of our goals.”

Many people have worked very hard to bring clean water to Jefferson, Tucker said. He added it would be a shame if people did not take advantage of this opportunity.

“This is a project the entire commission agreed on,” Tucker said. “This is a serious need in the county and everyone has worked very hard to get grant money in place. We just need people to come out and sign up to bring this project through.”

For questions, call Myrtlewood Town Hall at (334) 295-4191