Elida taking ownership of water

By Casey Peacock: PNT Staff Writer

Roosevelt County commissioners gave approval to a Community Development Block Grant application last week that could complete a water improvement project in Elida if approved.

The project will allow Elida to own its own well field and provide infrastructure that will improve the quality of the water, say town officials.
The town received a CDBG grant in 2005 for $350,000 to purchase water well property and begin the first phase of the project, Elida Town Clerk Sandra Monks said. The decision to purchase came about after the death of the landowner, who has previously leased the well field to Elida.

“For the first time, Elida will own, not lease their water,” said Monks. “We’ve gotten over one of the hurdles.”

Since a CDBG grant has to be completed, before another can be applied for, the county agreed to step in and apply for the grant to finish the project which will be submitted in the 2007 legislative session. That grant application asks the state for $395,140, said Monks. If awarded, the grant would be used to replace the current water storage tank, said Monks.

The current tank was installed in 1976 and is showing signs of rust, corrosion on the inside and outside, and holes have also been found in the tank, says Monks. Concerns have also been raised over the type of paint used on the tank, she said.

“We’ve got a good water supply for right know,” said Monks.

According to Pat Willis, Roosevelt County grants and accounts administrator, who is writing the current grant, the main issues surrounding the project are water pressure and the deterioration of the existing water tank. Keeping and staying in compliance with regulations has also prompted the application for the grant, said Willis.

“With the completion of this project, the town expects to preserve the integrity of the water supply,” said Willis.

Ninety-five percent of the project would be funded through the grant, with the other 5 percent, $19,757, being funded with in-kind matches from Portales and Elida, said Willis.

“We will meet or exceed the five percent match,” said Willis.

Automation of the system will also be an advantage, said Monks.

Currently the water department has to drive out to the water well field, which is located approximately 11 miles from Elida, and turn everything on in the mornings. They then have to wait for it to fill a certain amount before it can be turned off, she said. By automating the system, this would be eliminated. Communication would be handled automatically between the storage tank and the water well property.

“It will be a lot more efficient,” said Monks.