By Leah Deitz
The City of Rainelle has procured a $2.675 million United States Department of Agriculture loan to address the city’s antiquated water lines. Mayor Andy Pendleton says the project has been in the works for more than three years, and although this funding will not be enough to completely upgrade the system, it is a step in the right direction.
“We will be putting in a much needed filtration system,” she said, noting that they will also be combining and tying off dead-end lines for better circulation.
According to Pendleton, the existing system posed a problem for residents because there is discoloration and sediment. This is not a health concern, but something that residents have had to live with. “People have been dealing with it for years,” she said, adding that flooding and excess rain often exacerbates the issue. Pendleton explained that the city had to test the water on a regular basis to ensure that it was safe for use. The issue stemmed from the fact that the water lines, built in the early 1900s, are too small, and the infrastructure needs updated.
“Step by step, we will replace the lines,” Pendleton said. The initiative to secure funding has been a collaborative effort. Region IV Planning and Development’s contribution was crucial, Pendleton said. “We could not have done this without them.” Other entities involved in the process included Stafford Consultants and Steptoe and Johnson.
The city anticipates paying this loan back over a period of 40 years.