Lawrence seeks engineer to complete water project
By Kristen Bishop
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MOULTON — The Lawrence County Commission is ready to move forward with a project that will bring running water to the last remaining area without it.
The commission approved a motion Monday to advertise for an engineer to head the second phase of the Bankhead Water Project to install water lines to about 26 homes on Ridge Road.
The first phase ran water lines from Vinemont's water system to Pine Torch and part of the way down Leola Road east of Alabama 33.
The current phase will bring water to residents on the other side of the state highway.
Ridge Road is a seven-mile gravel path that follows the mountain ridge in the forest from Alabama 33 to Penitentiary Mountain.
Most residents living on Ridge Road now must fill jugs of water at area springs or buy water in Moulton because their wells are contaminated, said Lawrence County grant writer Charles Sherrod.
Because of a couple of state and tribal grants from the Environmental Protection Agency, the county commission will be able to run water lines to the area from Moulton's main water line at Ridge Road and Alabama 33.
The grants — totaling about $600,000 — require the county to pay 45 percent of all costs, said Sherrod.
Lawrence County currently has about $179,000 from forestry receipts set aside for the project, said County Administrator Linda Harville.
Officials haven't gotten a complete cost estimate for the project, but have said the water lines will cost about $1 million.
"When we get an engineer on board, that's the first thing we'll get him to do," said Sherrod.
Though residents should be excited that running water is in their future, they shouldn't throw away their water pails just yet, he warned.
"This is going to be a long time in the making," he said. "Just the environmental assessment could take a year."
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