Waterline showcases teamwork

Residents in several parts of western Trumbull County are thrilled to see the long-awaited waterline project get underway.

They should be!

This $15 million improvement was a long time in the making, and we, too, are excited to see the project finally moving forward, thanks to persistency and dedication of many local, county and state officials working together to improve local infrastructure.

The cooperation that shaped this successful regionalized project should be a source of pride for all of the residents in the Braceville, Southington, West Farmington and Farmington neighborhoods — and for all of us in Trumbull County.

About two-thirds of the property owners along the routes have expressed interest in tying into the new lines, in addition to the “big four” customers — West Farmington, Southington Estates, Southington schools and the Ohio State Highway Patrol barracks.

Sure, there is a cost that comes with connecting, but those costs were greatly alleviated by an Ohio Environmental Protection Agency loan that forgives 75 percent of the cost, about $10.6 million. That’s been described as the most generous deal the Ohio EPA has ever offered. A no-interest, 30-year loan will pay for the remaining $4.8 million.

And we believe the remaining costs that will be taken on by property owners will bring benefits that are well worth the expense.

These waterlines will help to eliminate struggles for residents with sulfur-tainted well water and their need to obtain store-bought water for drinking and cooking. Tapping into the line is sure to immediately increase the value of homes and make them more marketable in the future.

And the tap-in fees can be subsidized with financial aid available to households that qualify. A Community Development Block Grant will pay for income-eligible people to connect.

This is America in the 21st century, after all. We see little reason why anyone living in a developed Ohio county like ours should be forced to truck in potable water or rely on cisterns without options.

It’s amazing how obstacles that have existed for years and years can be overcome when parties join forces and work together for the good of the community.