Jackson County Water Utility Plans Expansion In Vernon Township

A planned Jackson County Water Utility expansion could benefit residents in northern and eastern Vernon Township.
According to JCWU manager Larry McIntosh, the three sections of the project will involve the installation of about 28 miles of new lines and could provide water to up to 600 households along the planned path.
McIntosh said the water utility has applied to the state’s Drinking Water Revolving Fund Loan Program to finance the $7 million expansion. He said the Brownstown based rural water utility is hoping to obtain a 30-year loan at 2.4% interest to pay for the expansion project.
“We’ll be holding a public hearing seeking input and answering questions from residents along the proposed expansion area,” said McIntosh. The public hearing will be held beginning at 5:30 p.m. next Thursday, Nov. 16 at the rural water utility office at 1119 W. Spring Street in the Ewing area of Brownstown.
Engineering consultant, Curry & Associates, Inc., will present the recommended improvements which includes distribution system expansion southeast of Seymour and north and east of Crothersville.
At this hearing, there will be the opportunity for questions and comments from the public, McIntosh said.
“All three sections of this project are in areas where residential growth is on-going or anticipated,” said the utility manager.
About 16 miles of 6” & 10” thick-walled PVC pipe would be installed in Section A southeast of Seymour outside the city limits.
Sections B & C of the expansion will occur in Vernon Township resulting in about 12 miles of pipe being installed to serve up nearly 200 households.
“Because of the number of industries along the I-65 & US 31 corridor, this section of Vernon Township is where is expect there to be increased numbers of houses,” he said.
Residents along the proposed expansion path will be receiving a survey sometime before Christmas, McIntosh said. “We hope they will complete the survey and mail it back in the postage paid envelope.”
He said if funding is approved, construction would start southeast of Seymour early fall 2018. The sections of Vernon Township would see construction begin late fall 2018. The entire project is expected to take about 18 months.
The construction would begin from existing service outward so that new expansion customers could be brought into service when the water main is installed along their home rather than wait until the entire project is complete.
Easement acquisition would begin as soon as the project receives funding approval, McIntosh said.
McIntosh said this proposed project does not include any towers or tanks for water pressure. “The 750,000 tank on top on Chestnut Ridge will us used to supply water pressure to the Vernon Township expansion,” he said.
Fire hydrants would be installed about every mile of the new waterline. “This will help with fire protection in the area and could result in a lowering of some property owners’ homeowners insurance,” noted McIntosh.
Unlike a municipal or regional sewer service, residents along the path of the proposed water line expansion will not be coerced to become a customer.
“We hope people realize that personal water wells do not last forever. There are costs to repair and maintenance,” said the utility manager. “Additionally, sometimes there are water quality issues with private wells which may involve the aquifer, water hardness, offending odors, or surface water infiltration.”
“Our rural water utility can help insure a stable supply of clean water to those who want to be our customers,” he said.
Jackson County Water Utility was formed in 1970 and began water service in 1975. It currently serves 5,600 customers throughout Jackson County outside the municipal areas of Seymour and Crothersville. Glenn E. Henry of Crothersville is a local representative on the rural water board of directors.