ABINGDON, Va. — Some Washington County, Virginia, residents waiting for county water service for more than 20 years received good news Wednesday when the Washington County Service Authority (WCSA) announced two projects had received grant funding and would begin in early 2022.
A grant of $5.5 million from the Virginia Department of Health (VDH) Office of Drinking Water will fund a water line extension in the Mendota area of Washington County. A $1.6 million grant, also from the VDH, will be used for a water line installation to residences along Mary’s Chapel Road, a portion of Walker Mountain Road and an unserved section of Archery Range Road. The press release from the WCSA said the two projects will provide public water service to residents who have been depending on private wells.
“The initial interest in water service on Mendota Road goes back to 1999,” Robbie Cornett, the general manager of WCSA, said. “Since that time, we’ve been able to complete four shorter projects, but we still had the majority of the road we’ve been trying to get water to.”
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Cornett said WCSA completed its last section of line in the area in 2019.
Ironically, without the pandemic, the two projects would likely still be waiting on funding.
The $7.1 million in grant funding provided to Washington County is part of $65.1 billion in Coronavirus State and Local Fiscal Recovery Funds. The funds are designated for investment in water infrastructure projects that improve access to clean drinking water.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Cornett said. “Of all the negatives that have come along with the coronavirus, if it weren’t for this funding that has been made available to use because of the coronavirus, I’m not sure when we would have ever gotten this project funded. It’s one positive out of all the negatives.”
The Mendota water line extension project will deliver service to 82 residences along a more than 10-mile section of Mendota Road. The Mary’s Chapel/Archery Range Road project will bring service to an additional 25 existing homes.
Construction on both projects is expected to begin in the spring of 2022. Cornett said the completion date is anticipated for late 2022 or early 2023.