By Bob Weaver

The struggle to get enough water customers to move a 21-mile $4 million Calhoun project ahead ended in January.

Mt. Zion Public Service District secretary Wilma Mace said 150 customers signed, the minimum number to secure funding.

Mace said the FHA and engineer Jim Hildreth are now working on the financial package, preparing it for approval.

The entire 21-mile project will be photographed from the air before leaves return in the spring, she said.

When the final design is completed, the Mt. Zion PSD will apply for necessary permits.

Mace said it is likely right-of-ways will be secured by late summer and the project could be put out for bid by late fall.

The long sought project will bring public water to Rt. 16 south of Arnoldsburg-Chloe and to Millstone, Sand Ridge, Sassafras Ridge and Russett.

The $4 million package is about 80% grants with a 20% loan, "Something we're highly unlikely to see again," said engineer Hildreth.

Signers paid a $100 tap fee and agreed to get water for three years. The average water bill would be about $26 a month, said Mace.

Mace indicated there will be a cut-off for sign-ups, after which it will cost area residents a considerable amount of money to hook-up.

Contact Mace regarding services at 304-354-6822.