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Grant would provide access to additional residents

An extension of existing water lines would provide bout 30 Valley Grande residents with service from the North Dallas County Water Authority.

The City of Valley Grande applied for a grant from the Alabama Tombigbee Regional Commission that would provide $99,342 of Delta Regional Authority funds for the project. The total cost of extending the lines, which run along County Road 269 and County Road 239, is $110,380. The City of Valley Grande committed to an $11,038 cash match that would pay for the rest of the project.

“We get two water line extensions to currently underserved areas,” Mayor Tom Lee said.

Along with providing water access, the North Dallas County Water Authority would waive the fees residents would pay for water meter installation. The resident would only pay for a line to be connected between the meter and the residence. Place 2 councilwoman Donna Downs said this could save residents between $600 and $700.

“It’s a once in a lifetime deal on that,” Downs said. “This would provide water to people that want to get off the wells.”

Place 5 councilwoman Patsy Moore said the grant would improve the quality of life for those Valley Grande residents.

“It’s convenience for them,” Moore said. “It’s just something we’ve always wanted is for them to have access to water.”

The Delta Regional Authority program funded 385 projects across 252 counties with $56 million of funds during its first six years. The program has provided drinking water and sewer services to almost 25,000 families.

Water authority general manager Hart Sims said the grant would allow service expansion without raising rates. Sims said customers would benefit without seeing larger numbers on their bills each month.

“We try to serve everybody in our area,” Sims said. “We’re also trying to operate within our means. The best way to expand is through grants.”