Public Water Supply District No. 1 will ask voters to approve ballot measure Nov. 3

Trysta Eakin

Camden County plans to hold a special election Nov. 3 for the Public Water Supply District No. 1 near Macks Creek that would upgrade their 36-year-old water supply system. The district’s water board authored the bill requesting that the district borrow $1.5 million in special obligation bonds at a 2 percent interest rate in hopes that it will qualify them for funds from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, or stimulus bill.

“The area within the district has grown and developed, but the water system has only aged and deteriorated,” said Matthew Marschke, an engineer from Midwest Engineering hired to map out the system’s needed changes. “Our investigation of the problems and operational issues found that the current system fails to meet state regulations in storage space, well capacity and pipe sizes.”

Marschke said in order to apply and qualify for federal infrastructure stimulus funds, the board must show that they have a local share, which is where the proposed revenue bonds come into the picture. Stimulus funds will go toward paying back the bonds, along with a possible increase in customers’ water bills. Currently the system has 250 customers in the Mack’s Creek, Branch and Elliot areas.

Ways the bond will improve the system
INCREASE the main pipe sizes. Wood said DNR requires the water mains to be at least 8 inches.
Right now they are 2 to 4 inches, making it difficult to move sediment-free water to consumers.
MAKE the hydrants useable again. Because the water mains are small, when hoses are hooked up to the hydrants, they pull too much mud and sediment through the pipes.
INSTALL a new well on the Branch side of the system. A new pump was installed recently, but because of the well’s age, it cannot work as efficiently.
RAISE the height of the Elliot water tower. Currently it is 45 feet shorter than the Branch tower, making the flow between the two difficult and inefficient.
SECURE the perimeter around the towers with fences, barbed wire and more to meet federal security standards.

Special Election information
WHEN Nov. 3
WHERE Macks Creek Baptist Church on Highway 54 in Macks Creek
VOTERS 570 registered voters in Water District No. 1
TO APPROVE there must be a simple majority