Fern echoed Chandler and added community growth through business attraction with a dependable water supply as a priority.
Chandler said water is one area where talk of the importance of cutting government does not apply. He joked that the money will even provide jobs in the area, saying that constructing new lines is work that “can’t be sent to China.”
The $725,000 figure approved by Rural Development is actually a combined $508,000 loan and $217,000 grant for the water district.
Old and degraded main lines will be repaired or replaced, and new areas will be served via newly installed lines. Perhaps most importantly, the supervisory control and data acquisition system that was damaged in the ice storm will be replaced, ending three years of storage site visits and guesswork and manually tending pumps and valves.
Water District Co-Manager Jerry Bruce Feather said finding money to repair the system has been especially difficult.
“What a lot of folks don’t understand is, because we are part of Boyle, we can’t get those grants the way some other, more rural counties do. That we are just a little place in a big county,” Bruce said.
He and Co-manager Debbie Webb, board members Ron Russel and Mary Grant and Magistrate Richard “Dickie” Mayes were joined by Boyle County Judge-Executive Harold McKinney for the presentation. Others present were support staff with theU.S. Department of Agriculture. Some like Johnston were just stopping by to pay their bill.
Grant said she had not been personally impacted by a loss of service in the past three years, but she knows some who have been.
“This is going to be very helpful,” she said.
Asked about losing Boyle as part of his district in the recent Congressional redistricting, Chandler said he was supportive of a resolution that kept the issue from going to court but said losing the county “is like losing a family member.”
“My door will always be open to anyone in Kentucky,” he said, noting that as a former state auditor and attorney general, he believes he has always represented the state as a whole.