WATERLINE EXPANSION Agent asks residents to return surveys

The project would benefit 142 homes.
LISBON -- A proposed waterline that would stretch five miles from West End to beyond the Lisbon Dairy Queen along State Route 45 needs public help in the form of answers, not money, surveyor Bob Allen told Columbiana County commissioners Wednesday morning.
The county is seeking a grant to pay for $500,000 of the $1.9 million extension, but needs residents to cooperate with a survey to establish that incomes in the area make it eligible for the state aid.
Only half the residents along the line have cooperated with the survey, he said.
The waterline would benefit 142 homes along the route that currently use well water. He said installation would take an estimated three months.
No financial obligation
"The income survey form does not list the name of the household residents, nor will residents' names be listed on any income survey tabulations," Allen said. "There is no financial obligation attached to responding to this income survey."
Ohio Department of Development guidelines require 111 responses to consider the survey valid. Only 74 residents responded to a July door-to-door survey or the December follow-up, Allen said.
"Please consider returning your survey," Allen pleaded. "The survey is only one page and should take less than five minutes to complete."
Those receiving surveys by mail can complete and return them to Bob Allen, Field Agent for the Ohio Rural Community Assistance Program, 25 Hillcrest Ave., Little Hocking, Ohio 45742.
Plans updated
Allen said the program requires at least 51 percent of the residents in the area be low-to-middle income. Depending on the numbers, the county may be eligible for $100,000 extra in grant money.
After Allen's presentation, commissioners unanimously approved a $4,800 contract from Quicksall and Associates, Inc., to update the plans and modifications for the 12-inch waterline, which was originally submitted to the Ohio EPA in November of 2000.
Work on the project could begin as early as July, should funds be made available.
Lawyers hired
In other matters, commissioners approved the law offices of Harrington, Hoppe & amp; Mitchell as legal counsel concerning lawsuits over recent cuts to county offices or departments.
The commissioners has ongoing litigation with the Board of Elections of Columbiana, and further lawsuits could arise.
The county will pay the firm $125 per hour for its services, with fees not to exceed $10,000 unless approved first by commissioners.