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Community Members Voice Concerns About Water Project

By: Peter O'Connor Email
By: Peter O'Connor Email

Having good, clean water is something many of us take for granted, but for some in portions of Perry County... they've been promised city water for years and they still do not have it.

A meeting was held for people to voice their concerns.

It is a water project that began in 2000, but State Senator Brandon Smith says 14 million dollars later, it is still not finished.

Smith wants some answers and so do the people who are still without water.

Yvonne Hurt says one of her neighbors, Ima Jean Sickman, died before she could see water flowing from her faucet.

“She passed away wishing and a hoping that she had water,” Hurt said.

Hurt and dozens of others met in Cornettsville Thursday. They told lawmakers and the project engineer that they were not happy the lines are still out of reach.

“We are just going to keep on fighting and I am going to keep fighting for her also as for my self to get water on the mountain because we have children,” Hurt said.

State Senator Brandon Smith says like Hurt and others he wants to know what the hold up is even though he says the 14 million dollar project is paid for.

He brought the papers to prove it.

“We were trying to make the money go as far as we can go. It could be possibly that they overreached. That I don't know. But I do know I was given a set amount of numbers that we needed to come up with on my end and I have met those goals,” Senator Brandon Smith said.

The project's engineer answered questions from the crowd, but did not want to talk on-camera.

“I am not going to keep putting money into a project if I am not exactly sure the direction that it is going,” Senator Smith said.

The project is in the final stages and Smith says more than 4 million dollars will keep the project moving through the year.

“It is sad that you have to live in poverty for water when you are a working family and you pay your taxes and nothing gets done. You are promised it but it never happens,” Hurt said.

Hurt says she hopes her long wait for water is finally coming to an end.

Senator Smith says the 14 million dollars for the project came from his portion of the coal severance fund.


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