A number of Mahoning County residents who have dealt for years with well water affected by mineral extraction soon will receive Youngstown water.
A state grant will help make the project possible. Beaver Township will be presented next week with a state Appalachian Recovery Grant for $175,000 for a waterline installation.
Township Trustee Larry Wehr said bids to put in the waterline have been submitted and came in below the township’s budget.
“I see no reason why this project won’t move forward,” he said.
The line’s total cost will be $320,000 to $350,000, said Trustee Ted Lyda.
“This project has been a long time coming,” Lyda said. “I’ll feel a lot better when it’s done.”
The damage to the area water wells was caused by acid mine drainage. The Ohio Department of Natural Resources attempted to treat the wells but has not been successful, Wehr said.
ODNR is contributing $100,000 to the project. The township also received a $10,000 donation from resident Joe Dickey. The remainder of the costs will be paid by the township and Aqua Ohio.
“[ODNR has] drilled some wells out here, but they’re really high- maintenance with salt and softener,” Lyda said. “They’ve only lasted for a couple of years because the casing has rusted through or there have been other problems.”
“This is the first step, and, hopefully, it will spawn additional projects,” Wehr said. “These are projects that could be funded through community development block grants.”
Three more phases of the waterline are needed. The entire project will travel about 5,000 feet along state Route 165 extending from the end of the current line until the intersection where two businesses, DataCom and Generator Specialists, are located.
The township’s goal is for the Mahoning County engineer to lead these projects going forward, Wehr said.
A formal grant presentation will be at 1 p.m. next Friday. It will be presented by Jason Wilson, director of the Governor’s Office of Appalachia, said Penny Martin, spokeswoman for the Ohio Development Services Agency.