Hart County Gets Water Grant

By MJ Kneiser, WLHR Radio, Lavonia

Hart County will receive $500,000 from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs as part of a $37.4 million Community Development Block Grant Award package announced recently.

The Hart County Water and Sewer Authority plans to use the money to extend water service to the Nancy Hart School Road area.

The proposed project will serve approximately 568 residents in that part of Hart County.

Hart County Water and Sewer Authority Director Pat Goran said notice of the grant award is great news for the county.

“I think it’s great,” he said. “We applied for this before the April deadline. We’ve been very successful with getting these Community Development Block Grants.  This is good news. This project will lay close to ten miles of pipe and help expand our system, obviously.”

The total cost of the Nancy Hart School Road water line project is approximately $1.3 million.

Goran said they plan to start the bidding process for the project once the check is in the bank.

“Last fall, we went ahead and got much of the engineering done and got most of the necessary permits we need to do the work,” Goran said. “So, hopefully within the next month we should be able to get it out to bid.”

Last year’s drought left many home owners in Hart County with wells running dry or close to it.

While that may not be the case this year with all the rain, water line expansion in Hart County is still a hot topic.

Goran said the Hart County Water and Sewer Authority plans to continue to apply for grants wherever they are available.

Hart County also recently received a loan/grant package from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority, Goran said, to erect a water tank in the Airline-Goldmine community.

“We hope to also bid on that in the next month or so,” he said. “GEFA let us know also that there’s principle forgiveness available for another project if we apply before June of next year. So, we’re going to apply for another GEFA loan/grant package sometime in the next few months.”

The Hart County Water and Sewer Authority just completed phase one of the Mt. Olivet/Reed Creek water line expansion project that consisted of 12 miles of water line.

Goran said the Water and Sewer Authority also plans to look at other funding options with a view towards stepping up the water line expansion in Hart County.

“I think we’re seriously considering, more than we have in the past, about borrowing more money,” he said. “We get $3.2 million in SPLOST funds over a six-year period so that, combined with the grants we’re able to get and the subsidized loans is what we use to build out our system.”

Hart County was one of 120 applicants for the 2013 round of block grants.