It's been a long time coming, but the Southwest Licking Local School District Board of Education voted 3-0 during a special meeting Tuesday, July 2, to approve a contract with the Southwest Licking Community Water and Sewer District to supply Kirkersville Elementary School with public water.
Board members Cindy Zaino and Dave Engle were not present at the special meeting.
The school at 215 N. Fifth St. in Kirkersville currently gets its water from a well.
The board authorized district Treasurer Richard Jones to spend up to $115,000 to pay the water and sewer district for the installation of water lines, permits and other expenses to hook in to the public water supply.
"I'm really excited; it's been a long, long haul," said board member Don Huber, who said there are many good reasons for Kirkersville Elementary School to have public water.
Huber said the water quality of the school's well is poor, even though it's constantly and extensively treated and tested. He said the well pump has quit on occasion, disrupting the school day, and the well is expensive for the district to maintain.
"It's not good water," said Huber.
Public water access also will provide for fire hydrant service.
"A reliable water source is very important to us," said Superintendent Robert Jennell previously. He said Kirkersville Elementary School is looking at growth, which would include an improved fire suppression sprinkler system. Such a system would require access to public water.
Water and sewer district Director Don Rector said once the water line is installed, the school will be charged the standard rate of $5.33 per 1,000 gallons of water. He said the cost of water line construction is roughly $50,000, the public service tap fee is about $27,000, and the district must pay roughly $7,500 to the village of Kirkersville for right-of-way permits.
Rector said he assumes the school district will fill the existing well once public water is available.
"That'll delete it as a public water source," he said, and the school district will no longer be required to test the well.
Rector said he is happy an agreement was reached.
"They've had some real issues with that well," he said. "They ran out of options."
Rector added the water district board will vote on the contract Tuesday, July 9.
Huber said construction will take about 60 days to complete after all the paperwork is signed.
"We won't be ready for the new school year, but it should be ready shortly thereafter," he said.