Wednesday, August 22, 2001

Water flows to Visalia

New line serves 20 homes, elementary school

By Lori Hayes
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        VISALIA — The water was flowing in rural Kenton County on Tuesday as students, administrators and local officials celebrated Visalia Elementary's connection to city water.

        The long-awaited project extended water lines to the community of Visalia, something residents and school officials had sought for nearly a decade.

[photo] Kayla Smith, 10, a fifth-grader at Visalia Elementary School, samples the water from a school fountain.
(Patrick Reddy photo)
| ZOOM |
        Until this summer, the 180-student school relied on a cistern for most of its water and had drinking water trucked in daily. Because there were no hydrants in the area, a pond across from the school provided fire protection for the elementary school and surrounding area.

        But at the urging of Northern Kentucky lawmakers, including Kenton County Judge-executive Dick Murgatroyd and Rep. Jon Draud, the state legislature funded the $350,000 one-mile water-line project last year.

        “This was a collaborative effort with all parties working together to make this project a reality,” said Kenton County Schools Superintendent Susan Cook.

        The school was connected to the Northern Kentucky Water District's new lines this summer. Until then, Visalia was the last school in Kenton County still using a cistern.

        The water district extended water lines to Visalia, in the far southeastern part of the county, to serve about 20 homes and the school. The project will save the 12,000-student school district nearly $10,000 a year.

        Last year, the district paid $12,272 to haul 767,000 gallons to the school, officials said. The biggest portion of that was for transportation. The district also had to test the water quality every month.

        With public water lines, the cost should drop to about $2,800, district officials said.

        “We are very pleased to be able to provide the schools with better quality and less expensive water,” said Ron Lovan, president of the water district.

        The water service will also mean better water quality, fire protection and reliability for the school.


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