Tepid response to rural water proposal
BY IAIN WOESSNER
A local landowner and members of the Garrison Rural Water District (GRWD) committee met Friday to discuss the prospect of adding rural water service to land on the outskirts of Garrison, though there seemed little thirst for the high buy-in cost proposed.
GRWD had previously applied for a grant made available by the State Water Commission to build a reservoir and pumping station, to allow for future water development in the western section of the district.
Diane Stockdill, president of GRWD, led the meeting, offering details on the grant, which would cover 75 percent of the overall cost of rural water, leaving 25 percent responsibility for GRWD to pick up, which Stockdill said would come down to $250,000. The project is projected to cost $1 million.
For a cost like that, Stockdill said, they’d need up-front money, and she proposed the cost be divided among the users, owners of plots of land. The goal is to get 30 lots to commit and be willing to pay $2500 per lot. This fee is in addition to standard user agreements and connection fees required to initiate water service. If there is not enough commitment, the grant money would be forfeited with no future guarantees.
“So this is really our first opportunity,” Stockdill said. “It’s a first-come, first-serve grant.”
The only land owner who attended the meeting was Tammy Iglehart, who was nonplussed by the scope of the project’s reach and the increased cost it’d require her to pass to her prospective buyers.
“I really have no desire to put into my covenants that people have to pay for a utility when they have water underneath them,” Iglehart said. “They can drill a well and there’s good water there. So...I can’t justify putting that in my covenants, so the whole thing … will be a deterrent to my sales.”