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Grant will help provide more water service

The water wait for some south Lincoln County residents should beover later this year or early next year thanks to a second RuralDevelopment grant awarded to the Topisaw Creek WaterAssociation.

Janet Kirtfield, general manager, said the $73,000 grant will beused in conjunction with $790,000 from the first Rural Developmentgrant and loan to complete a water system improvement project. Thefirst money, about half of which was a grant and the other half aloan, was received in 1999.

“We are in the process of laying water lines,” Kirtfield saidabout the project that began several weeks ago.

The overall project will include laying of 32 miles of new waterlines to serve 125 families and installation of a 100,000 gallonelevated storage tank. Kirtfield said work on the elevated tankshould start within the next few weeks.

Kirtfield estimated the project would be finished in November,although it could be later. The project will supply water servicesto residents, many of whom have had to rely on wells, in Topisaw’sservice area south of Highway 84 between Highway 51 and Interstate55.

While physical work has been going on for only a short while,Topisaw officials have been signing up customers for about threeyears as part of the project. For some, Kirtfield said, the waithas been even longer.

“We’re glad to finally be able to get water to the people, somewho’ve been waiting as long as seven years,” Kirtfield said.

Topisaw was among six water systems in Mississippi to receiveUnited States Department of Agriculture Rural Development funds,which totaled $976,000. Other counties getting Rural Developmentfunds include Amite and Wilkinson in southwest Mississippi andChickasaw, Clay, Monroe, Lafayette and Webster counties innortheast Mississippi.

“Mississippi’s rural water systems are a vital part of ourstate’s public infrastructure,” said U.S. Senate Majority LeaderTrent Lott in a release on the funding awards. “Improving thesesystems will provide Mississippi’s citizens with one of the toolsneeded to facilitate good public health and additional economicdevelopment.”