Fresh water coming to the Dry Hollow community

Published 7:54 pm Wednesday, November 10, 2021

BY IVAN SANDERS
STAR STAFF
ivan.sanders@elizabethton.com

Families of the Dry Hollow area got an early Christmas gift this week.

State Senator Rusty Crowe, Mayor Patty Woodby, and representatives of the First Utility District signed a $647,000 project to extend fresh water to 38 families.

A Community Development Block Grant for $363,750 will cover over half the cost of the project while the local cost will be $283,250.

“They don’t have a freshwater system and the state condemned what they had,” said First District board member Keith Bowers, adding Ecoli contamination had been detected in the system. “They brought their needs down here and we have been working on this for almost four years. Finally, we got Senator Crowe and Mayor Woodby involved, and … it turned around.”

The state condemned the previous water system almost two years ago. Since then families have been collecting water from a spigot that was installed by the utility district. That spigot had a lock on it and the families were given a key where they could retrieve water and bring it back to their homes, Bowers said. Some also purchased water at local retailers such as Walmart.

“I want to thank Mayor Woodby and the Commission for making this happen,” said Sen. Crowe. “We will never have this kind of money to use again, and I cannot think of a better use than waterlines. Even with all the technology available in this day and age, we still have people without clean water.”

The project began under former Mayor Rusty Barnett’s administration. “This was something he was very passionate about,” Woodby said. “I am proud to have been able to see this through.”

Bowers said the water project will bring relief to the families. “It will change their whole lifestyle.”

Leaders do not have a date for the beginning or completion of the project but are hopeful work will begin soon. “Hopefully this is going to help them a little sooner than we thought. We thought it wasn’t going to start until next year but the way they are talking, it could start in the next 30 to 45 days and hopefully, it will be completed by the spring,” Bowers said.