Turning up the pressure

Shady Grove WSC replacing 25,000 feet of water line

By FAITH HUFFMAN,| News-Telegram News Editor

April 8, 2008 - Shady Grove Water Supply Corporation Monday broke ground on a new project to replace 25,000 linear feet of water line, which will mean improved water pressure for county residents served by Shady Grove water system.

The water group received notification in January of 2007 from the Office of Rural Community Affairs that Hopkins County would be receiving a $191,805 Small Towns Environmental Program grant, generally referred to as a STEP grant, to help make water system improvements.

Patrick Chase, president of Shady Grove #2 WSC, thanked the chamber of commerce, county commissioners and city officials present for coming out to the event Monday. He also noted that the funding was obtained due to the collaborative efforts of board members and elected officials, as well as the hard work of a few particular individuals.

He praised Mary Kay Thomas with Amazing Grants Inc. and Stan Hayes, president of Hayes Engineering, for their efforts in getting the process under way. Thomas helped the water group draft the grant application, which county commissioners approved in the fall of 2006. Hayes helped get Texas Commission of Environmental Quality's approval of the water line replacement plan, then began the bid process for materials.

Maxine George was also thanked for her work over the last three decades as operations manager. Chase also thanked Hopkins County Commissioner's Court for giving its approval to the grant application, giving special recognition to County Judge Cletis Millsap and Precinct 1 commissioner Beth Wisenbaker.

Wisenbaker, who was on hand for the water improvement project kick off, said that she was proud the county was able to obtain STEP grants for such projects, noting that North Hopkins and Como-Pickton area water groups benefitted from the grants in previous years, but is especially glad to give approval to a program that assist those in precinct 1.

She said one of the things that was mentioned when ORCA reviewed the grant was the fact that it's a matching grant, particularly in volunteer labor.

"Volunteer labor is not going to be a problem in Hopkins County. We're a community where people love to help each other when there's a need," Wisenbaker said. "There won't be a problem with that for Shady Grove Water supply."

Shady Grove # 2 WSC is governed by Pat Chase, president; Morgan Anderson, vice president; Janet Martin, secretary; and board members Brian Mathes, Tommy Rawson, Marc McGahee and Jerry Flemming. Maxine George is the operation manager.

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