County pursues federal grant for waterline


(Posted June 24, 2014)

By Kristy Zurbrick, Madison Editor

The Madison County commissioners hope to secure grant funding for half the cost of a waterline to serve the I-70/U.S. Route 40 corridor between routes 29 and 56. The project will cost millions of dollars; there is no firm cost estimate at this time.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA), a division of the United States Department of Development, grants Public Works funding on a quarterly basis. The grants require a 50 percent local match. The application process is competitive, so the funding is not guaranteed.

The grant requires that the target area have a median household income of 80 percent of the national average or lower. Overall, the median income in the county and in the city of London is higher than the 80 percent benchmark. Most of the specific target area, however—including Lafayette and Somerford—is lower than 80 percent. The one exception is a small piece that goes into the Choctaw Lake development.

“So, we revised the (project) map to take out Choctaw,” said Adam Rapine, a field representative for U.S. Rep. Steve Stivers. Rapine is working with M-E Companies to write Madison County’s grant application. M-E, a management and engineering firm, is under contract with the county.

Rapine added, “The application would be more competitive if you have businesses in the area saying (the waterline) will benefit them, allow for business expansion.”

Commissioner Paul Gross said Beck’s Hybrids fits into that category. The seed company wants to add a distribution facility to their new operation on Route 40 near the Farm Science Review grounds. Gross said he knows of at least one other business that’s thinking of expanding and a church that wants to build in the corridor.

As the grant application comes together, the county is researching and weighing its options for a water source for the waterline. They could drill wells or buy water from another entity that already has wells, said Commissioner David Dhume. With the latter option, the county would avoid the cost of drilling wells and the responsibility of maintaining the wells, he said.

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