Groundbreaking held for ARC water line extension
by: Amanda Mainord,
Pickett County Executive Stephen Bilbrey and Fentress County Executive John B. Mullinix is proud is announce ground is being broke for a water line extension on Dry Creek Road.
This project began in the summer of 2007 when residents in the Dry Creek area petitioned County Executive Stephen Bilbrey to help them with their water needs. Pre-applications were submitted with the help of the Upper Cumberland Development District, and in June of 2008, Governor Phil Bredesen announcement that he was asking for a full application from Pickett County in order to recommend the project for funding by Appalachian Regional Commission. The project will begin construction soon.
Residents on Dry Creek Road in Pickett and Fentress Counties do not have access to clean, safe, potable drinking water. In 2007 and 2008 residents in this area were having the haul water because their wells and springs are dry from the drought. Access to safe, sanitary potable water will be a great asset to the residents in this area.
After the study of available water sources, it was determined the Fentress County Utility District was the most feasible connection point. In addition to serving these desperate Appalachian families, this connection will allow Fentress County Utility District to connect two sections of their water lines enabling them to better circulate their water thereby improving its quality.
Both Pickett and Fentress Counties are listed as ARC distressed counties and both are also classified as distressed by the Tennessee Department of Economic and Community Development. Without ARC funding, there is no financially feasible way to correct this life-threatening problem.
“There is a serious need for a safe, reliable source of potable water for the residents on Dry Creek Road. They are experiencing severe water shortages from their private wells, and have been forced to haul water for quite some time now,” explained County Executive John B. Mullinix.
“Pickett County is pleased to partner with Fentress County and the Fentress Utility District on this project and is proud to have the support of the Upper Cumberland Development District. This has been a long process, and I am proud to see it come to fruition,” stated County Executive Stephen Bilbrey.
“The Upper Cumberland Development District is happy to have been involved in the Dry Creek waterline extension project. We support projects such as this throughout the Upper Cumberland region,” explained Wendy Askins, Executive Director of the Upper Cumberland Development District. “The primary mission of our organization is to improve the quality of life throughout our 14-county area, and helping families gain access to clean water is in keeping with our mission; it's what we're all about. We appreciate the work of the Appalachian Regional Commission in the Upper Cumberland, and we're glad to partner with the ARC on such important and meaningful projects.”