Carderview may be answer to community's water needs

By Kathy Helms-Hughes
STAR STAFF
khelms@starhq.com

   Members of Carderview Utility District agreed Tuesday to apply for up to $10,000 in federal grant money to pay for a preliminary engineering report which would determine whether Carderview could supply water to Fish Springs and Little Milligan residents.
   Carter County Executive Dale Fair, members of the Little Milligan Water Task Group, Gay Irwin of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC), Vernon Kirk and Retha Patton of the First Tennessee Development District met at 5 p.m. to discuss options for bringing water to the two communities.
   Kirk told the group that the engineering study would determine what it would cost for Carderview to extend its water line across the Butler Bridge into Fish Springs and Little Milligan.
   Fair said that if Carderview received $7,500 in grant money, the Little Milligan group would kick in the required $2,500 match to fund the study.
   "It's a win-win for everyone to have a look-see, to see if it's feasible," Fair said. "If Carderview, for whatever reason, doesn't have the volume or isn't ready from the TDEC standpoint, we can hook on to Mountain City, which is at Shoun Lumber. They've got plenty of water for a long time and plenty of pressure." Another option is to go through Dry Run Utility District. The engineering report will determine the best option.
   Fair said that if a water line were brought across the bridge, it is only 1.3 miles to Fish Springs and about 1.3 miles to Little Milligan.
   "So a stretch of 2.6 miles, you would have two communities hooked up, and we wouldn't be back here still trying to do a water plant. We'd be getting distribution from day one," he said.
   "It could be mutually beneficial to both [the residents and the utility] because the more connections they have on their water line, the more income," Fair said.
   Fair told utility representatives that it was the only solution to getting water to residents of the area in a reasonable amount of time.
   Walter Church of Carderview said whether it increased the utility's customer base or not, "These people need water. If we've got a glass, we ought to share it with them."
   Retha Patton of FTDD told the group that there is up to $1.5 million available in grant money which could be used to run lines. Some of it might not require a match; some would. Matching funds are estimated at about $100,000, she said.
   Carderview now must select an engineering firm to do the study. Kirk said one of the criteria for an engineering firm is availability to do the study in a timely manner.