Friday, October 08, 1999

Water district extending service 12 miles




BY CINDY SCHROEDER
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        INDEPENDENCE — A total of 315 southern Kenton County homes could receive water service and enhanced fire protection as part of one of the largest expansion projects undertaken by the Northern Kentucky Water Service District.

        The project calls for extending water mains 12 miles and installing fire hydrants in parts of southern Kenton County now without public water, said Richard Harrison, director of engineering and distribution for the district.

        The extension project is among $8.5 million in improvements planned for the fast-growing southern Kenton County area. By the end of next summer, many of those projects should be built, Mr. Harrison said.

        To help pay for the proposed extension, Kenton Fiscal Court agreed this week to contribute an additional $72,800 in federal funds — an increase from its original $100,000 allotment in Community Development Block Grant money. The money would help pay for service lines for low- to moderate-income households, making the project affordable for those property owners, Mr. Harrison said.

        Parts of 12 roads would be included in the extension project, if funded, and households would pay a $30 monthly surcharge for 40 years.

        “That (surcharge) could go down as growth occurs in the area,” Mr. Harrison said.

        The extension would stop about a mile from Visalia School, a Kenton County elementary that sought public water in 1992 but failed to get enough households in the area to commit to the project, Mr. Harrison said.

        At a recent town meeting in Visalia, Kenton Fiscal Court members said they were asked about the likelihood of Visalia School's getting water lines and fire hydrants.

        “I'd like to see that project as a priority for the water district in the next couple of years,” said Kenton County Commissioner Dan Humpert.

        Because of the drought, Mr. Humpert said a lake by the school used for fire protection “is in very bad shape,” and school officials are concerned about having a dependable wa ter source in case of fire.

        “Visalia has a very high probability of being part of the next project, depending on the residents' interest,” Mr. Harrison said.

        If funded in the next grant round, the earliest Visalia could get public water would be fall or winter of 2001, Mr. Harrison said.

        As part of its extension project, the water service district also plans to add 2.1 miles of 24-inch main on Bristow Road, a move that would not add customers, but would improve water service in the Independence area, Mr. Harrison said.

        The water district should know within six weeks whether the extension project will be funded, Mr. Harrison said.

       



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