County Nears Pact On Water

The Jefferson County Commission announced Thursday the county has a tentative agreement with Mingo Junction to purchase bulk water, a move that eventually will lead to the county buying no water from Steubenville.

County Commissioner Thomas Graham said Mingo Junction has proposed selling the county water for $2 per 1,000 gallons. The agreement would be for five years, with the cost increasing to $2.15 in the last two years of the agreement.

Graham said the city increased its bulk water rate to $2.46 per 1,000 gallons of water. He said the county will save $28,000 over five years by switching its bulk-rate purchases to Mingo Junction.

The county has already agreed to purchase additional bulk water from Toronto to service areas around Wintersville. Mingo Junction will provide water for the Sunshine Park area. The county will have to install 0.2 mile of a water line for Sunshine Park and may have to install a booster station to fill county water tanks.

County Commissioner Tom Gentile said the county connecting its system to Mingo Junction is a good idea for safety reasons.

“It is always a good idea to have the systems looped,” he said.

County Commissioner David Maple said he understands Steubenville’s position of not wanting to sell water at a loss.

“I hope they understand our position to seek out the lowest cost,” he said.

Commissioners also agreed to advertise for the Bradley area water line extension outside Smithfield. The project includes 12,600 feet of water lines and fire hydrants. There are 80 homes that could be connected to the line.