NEWBURG — After a 12- year struggle, the Independence water project is complete.
Newburg has worked toward providing water to the neighboring unincorporated community of Independence since 2008.
The project extended the water line as far as the former Independence School and provides water to about 22 homes. This is less than half the 70 customers who requested service.
Janet Adams, water clerk for the town of Newburg, said 22 people signed up for the service and as of Tuesday 10 have hooked on.
Sheena Hunt, executive director of the Region VI Planning and Development Council, said the final cost of the project was $460,172.43. She said all of the monies for the project came from the Abandoned Mine Land grant program.
Bringing water to Independence was one part of the project to expand and update the town’s water service.
Hunt said the Rural Utilities Service grant would be a good grant for the town to apply for now because its interest rate is 1.875%.
Newburg Mayor Edgar Fortney asked Hunt to find out if the town still qualifies for the grant.
Hunt said she would also try to find other grants that would help the town upgrade and expand water service.
In other business Fortney said the Newburg Dam recently passed inspection. He said engineer Danny Bainbridge was the inspector.
He said the Department of Environmental Protection required updated emergency response papers, such as the names and addresses of residents to notify in case of a pending breach.
Council went into executive session to discuss personnel. When it returned to open session council hired Guy Loughrie as a water operator. His starting salary will be $10 hour.
Fortney said the town is also looking at prices for a 30- to 35-cubic yard garbage truck.
The next meeting of Newburg Council will be 6 p.m. Sept. 8.