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Jefferson water project nearing completion

LINDEN &045; An expansion project to extend water to the Jefferson community has been on hold since preliminary water tests have not yielded acceptable results.

Tests of the water, which is being routed from Demopolis on to Jefferson and Myrtlewood, have shown that a traditional chlorine gas setup to clean the it has not produced adequate water quality to begin hooking up residences to the new system.

McKinney proposed a 55-gallon tank that will hold hydro chlorite, a liquid form of chlorine, which will be pumped through the water to sanitize it. The tank will be housed in a pump house on Tosco Road, once the county can secure deeds on a 20-by-30-foot piece of property. The addition will cost $23,950 and will come from the project’s contingency fund.

Commissioners approved the proposal, and McKinney hopes to begin hooking up water lines within a month. At present, he said there are approximately 230 residences that have signed up to be hooked into the new system.

The project has been ongoing since 2005, when the county commission and the Town of Myrtlewood began applying for funding sources for the $3.3 million project. The Marengo County Commission applied for funding through the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs, while the Town of Myrtlewood sought funding through the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development Agency.

The County Commission was able to secure a $600,000 grant and also provide $25,000 of funds for the project. The Town of Myrtlewood was able to borrow $1.3 million and also received a USDA grant for $1.4 million.

When the system is operational, Myrtlewood will purchase water from Demopolis through the Springhill water tower on U.S. Highway 43. The pipeline extends down County Roads 19 and 21 until State Highway 28.