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Henry County board mulls water district

NAPOLEON - Water is becoming a hot topic in Henry County.

Residents who live in several small, unincorporated areas of the county have approached the commissioners about buying public water to replace their aging wells.

In response, commissioners have decided to review the possibility of creating their own regional water and sewer district - something that could take up to a year to complete.

“It's just a response to try to be more proactive and aggressive in getting water to our community,” said Tom Wiggins, director of the county's planning commission. “I guess the main thing [about a water district] is they are in the business.

“They can borrow funds and seek grants. They would be a separate entity,” Mr. Wiggins said.

Like other areas, Henry County has experienced immense growth in recent years, increasing the demand for water, Mr. Wiggins said. Residents in smaller areas also have cited a need for water.

Washington Township Trustee Leo Barlow said he attended a commissioners' meeting last week and presented them with names of about 30 people who might want to buy county water. The residents live in the area known as Colton and nearby homes along County Road U, Mr. Barlow said.

“I just told them there's a need for water in this area,” he said.

The commissioner said the idea of buying public water as a group has been discussed before in Colton. Residents who signed the list didn't commit to buying water until cost estimates are provided.

In addition to the need for water, Mr. Wiggins said, commissioners are dealing with an order from the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency to correct a sewage problem in Okolona. Old sewage septic tanks there have failed and are draining into nearby ditches.

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