It was announced at the Sylvatus Ruritan Building that thanks to leftover grant money from an earlier Rural Development project, public water would be coming to the northern part of Carroll County.
The money is coming from leftover USDA funds remaining from the long-range water project and will total anywhere from $1.2 to $1.7 million. It is expected that digging for the water project will begin once the design phase of the project is completed, anywhere from six to 12 months from now.
The crowd of about 50 people cheered the announcement that came from the Carroll County Board of Supervisors, Public Service Authority and Rural Development. Afterward, County Administrator Gary Larrowe handed out bottles of Sylvatus water.
“I assume everybody came today wanting water?” asked PSA Chairman Andy Jackson.
“Amen,” came a response from the assembled crowd, many of whom attended numerous Board of Supervisors and PSA meetings to ask for public water for their part of the county.
Jackson then turned proceedings over to USDA-Rural Development District Director Travis Jackson, who praised the hard work of the Board of Supervisors and PSA and the diligence of the Sylvatus and Mitchell’s Crossroads residents in making Monday a monumental day.
“The Board of Supervisors and PSA heard what you are saying,” Travis Jackson said. “They didn’t have answers at that time, but I think I have an answer today.”
Jackson said with additional federal grants and loans made available through the American Recovery Act, Carroll has been one of the most aggressive localities in making sure it got its fair share.
“The County of Carroll and the PSA have been very successful in the past year and a half in securing funds to make sure they provide services to the citizens they serve,” Jackson said. “They are probably one of the most forthright counties in taking advantage of the grants and low cost loans available.”
Andy Jackson thanked residents for their patience while awaiting news on the water situation.
“You came to the meetings and have shown courtesy and understanding,” Jackson said. “When you just wait and wait, it’s hard to be that nice. I thank you for being that way.”
Jackson said April 19 is an historic day nationally — it marked the start of the Revolutionary War — and now it’s an historic day locally as well.
“I hope everybody here will remember today,” Jackson said. “It will be a day for history. When this is finished, you will have good water. This is the beginning of the end of you getting there.”
Board of Supervisors Chairman Wes Hurst said no one person is responsible for what’s about to happen in Sylvatus and Mitchells Crossroads.
“It is a team effort,” Hurst said. “Everybody in the county we rely on is on our team. We can only do what we have to do with. That goes for all my comrades here today and Travis Jackson. He would say the same thing about the team effort.”
Hurst said while Monday’s announcement is great news, it will still be a little while before residents truly see the fruits of the labor.
“It will take a while for things to come to fruition — to turn on the spigot and get clean water — but this is that hit to the outfield that gets you started running the bases.” Hurst said.
Sylvatus and Mitchells Crossroads residents interested in hooking into the water lines have until an unspecified deadline to register to connect for free. After the deadline passes, the cost to hook into the system is $1,250.