|Water co-op for Scott-Morgan-Greene expands
Tuesday, August 7, 2012 6:00 am
BY MARIA NAGLE and CODY BOZARTH
A new water tower east of Woodson was the site of a dedication ceremony Monday and symbolizes the continuing expansion of the Scott-Morgan-Greene Water Cooperative.
The water tower at 2305 Woodson-Franklin Road was built as part of the rural water cooperative’s Phase V Water Systems Improvement Project. The project includes a water booster pump station along with the elevated storage tank that holds water purchased from the city of Jacksonville.
The project also added 51 miles of water main and 145 customers between Nortonville and Lake Jacksonville, Cooperative President Steven Grubb said. The marks its ninth major project since the cooperative’s inception in 1989.
“This is the continuance of our expansion,” Grubb said. “We now service about 900 customers, as well as provide emergency interconnects for the village of Manchester, the Alsey-Glasgow Water Commission and now Franklin.”
With money left over from the Phase V project, the Scott-Morgan-Greene Water Cooperative plans to extend water mains to eight more small areas in and around Nortonville, adding 20 to 25 new customers, Grubb said.
“Rural water is key to rural America’s quality of life and economic development,” said Congressman Aaron Schock, R-Illinois, who was among 30 people who attended the project’s dedication ceremony. “People think of infrastructure, they think of roads and bridges, but actually more important to sustain life is good, clean water.”
Schock said the project was a good example of federal, state and local dollars being used together for a good use.
The project was funded using $1.8 million from a U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant, $1 million in state Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity funds, and funds from the city of Jacksonville, Morgan County and the water customers themselves, Schock said.
“The other thing about this kind of infrastructure project is it requires local buy in,” Schock said. “So the local residents have to step up and say ‘we’re willing to pay more for our water to fund this project.’
“Unlike a road or a bridge where you have state or federal funds and it just happens, the people who actually live on the water line that’s being expanded, they actually help fund it,” Schock said. “So it’s really government helping people grow themselves.”