County Water Authority opens new building
Published 10:49 am Thursday, May 16, 2013
By Fred Guarino
The Lowndes Signal
With the help of a $1,553,000 loan and a $3,603,000 grant from the USDA, the Lowndes County Water Authority is not only improving water system facilities in the county, but also opened a new office building in Hayneville with a ribbon cutting ceremony Friday.
Among officials on hand for the event were Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell and USDA Rural Development State Director Ronnie W. Davis.
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“If you don’t have water, sewer, gas and infrastructure and transportation out there that meets the need of industry, you won’t have it,” Davis said. “They won’t come. I don’t care what you’ve got. They will not build it and they will not come, and that’s an important factor in growing development in the rural community.”
He also said, “If you don’t know or don’t appreciate the water you drink today, wait a few years. It’s going to become a valuable resource.”
According to the USDA, through its Rural Development mission area, it has a portfolio of programs designed to improve the economic stability of rural communities, businesses, residents, farmers and ranchers and improve the quality of life in rural America.
“I think in order for us to attract industries and to have the jobs that we want to see right here in Lowndes County, we have to have the infrastructure in place… that’s roads and bridges and water and sewer,” Sewell said.
“So, it’s great to have a partner in Ronnie Davis being able to leverage our federal dollars our taxpayer dollars and seeing it at work,” Sewell said. “And I think this is a great example of what’s possible if you have a very active and enthusiastic authority and a great county commission and a great mayor…”
She called Lowndes County the ancestral home of her mother and said, “So, this is not only a win for Lowndes County, but I consider it a personal win for my family.”
Charlie King Jr., past chairman of the Lowndes County Commission and President of the South Central Alabama Broadband Commission, pointed out how the Lowndes County Water Authority came from the home of Emily Rudolph, where she served as secretary and treasurer, to the new office building on Highway 21.
Orbuty Ozier, chairperson of the Lowndes County Water Authority, said the authority was formed to supply water to the rural areas of the county. She called having their own office building now a “milestone” for the authority.
Ozier said with the grant and loan from the USDA, the Lowndes County Water Authority is replacing more than 40 miles of water lines that have never been replaced, pumps and the telemetry system, which is the brain of the system.
“Because if you do not update your facilities, then you could create contaminated water,” Ozier said.
Bert Pickney is vice chairman of the Lowndes County Water Authority Board of Directors, Peggy Johnson is secretary, and Prince Chestnut is board attorney.
Special thanks were made to Constantine Engineering, designer William Ozier, architect Sam Donze, general contractor Holley-Henley Builders and Water Management Services Inc.
Hayneville Mayor Kelvin J. Lawrence and Lowndes County Commission Chairman Robert Harris brought greetings.
“This a great day that we have here in Lowndes County,” Harris said. “We welcome you here on this great occasion so that we will continue to do what we set out to do to be of service to the people to provide the best water in the state of Alabama to our residents here in Lowndes County.”