A $4.2 million project to bring water to parts of New Franklin — including about three miles along state Route 93 — will begin later this year, thanks to a much-coveted Ohio EPA loan.
Mayor Paul Adamson said that about half the loan is expected to be forgiven after the project is completed before the end of 2021, greatly reducing the cost to the city.
The city’s partner, Aqua Ohio, will also share part of the cost, Adamson said, leaving New Franklin with about $600,000 to cover. With payments spread out over 30 years, the city’s share comes to about $20,000.
Adamson said he was excited by the opportunities the project would bring the city.
“There’s never been water out here, period,” he said. “It’s always been well water.”
In working with Aqua Ohio and the state Environmental Protection Agency, Adamson said it was vital that the project not include a mandate for residents to connect to the lines. Surveys in the past have shown opposition to that route.
“There’s no mandatory tie-ins for people, and that’s a big deal,” the mayor said.
Still, Adamson said he expects enough residents to voluntarily tie in to cover the city’s $20,000-per-year share of costs.
“I feel blessed that we have the opportunity to bring this [so it’s] not a burden on the people,” he said.
“It’s been a project long in the making,” he said. “We stayed with it and hoped for the best and we were rewarded at the end.”
Having waterlines will help the city develop the Route 93 corridor and prepares a path for future projects, Adamson said.
The project will extend waterlines from South Main Street to West Caston Road, then to Coleman Drive, Catalina Drive, Renninger Road and finally to Manchester Road. The lines will run north to Vanderhoof Road and south to Grace Church.
The mayor said public utilities such as city water play a significant role in promoting responsible development. It could help bring new housing that’s in big demand and short supply in the city.
Aqua Ohio serves about 500,000 people statewide and provides an average of 40 million gallons of water a day through 36 water systems.
Adamson said the loan approval was the culmination of a long effort that will provide long-term benefits to his city.
“We had our hat in the ring, and we were one of the lucky two this year,” he said.