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Funds available for wells

April 03, 2002|BY SCOTT BUTKI

The Washington County Board of Commissioners voted Tuesday to offer a maximum of $50,000 to help property owners pay to have new wells drilled and to offset costs of water conservation efforts.

The money will come from the housing rehabilitation loan fund, which contains about $350,000, county Community Development Coordinator Joe Kuhna said.

The money is being offered to address the drought situation.

The county will spend up to $40,000 for property owners who need new wells if a program offered through USDA's Farm Service Agency runs out of money.

The USDA program pays up to 50 percent of the permanent cost of buying a storage tank or drilling a well.

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The program has a $92,000 budget and will run out of money shortly, said Colleen Cashell, the agency's Washington County executive director. There have been 21 applications for funding and there is enough money for about 19 of them, she said. The agency will spend an estimated $4,600 per request, she said.

On March 6, the agency requested another $100,000 in funding but has not heard whether it will get it, she said.

As with the USDA program, the county would pay 50 percent of the cost of drilling a new well, not including plumbing and electrical connection costs.

The commissioners did not set a maximum amount to be provided to a property owner.

The county will give up to $500 each to property owners who meet income eligibility requirements so they can make repairs to plumbing fixtures that are wasting water or not working properly.

The county will spend a maximum of $10,000 on water conservation improvements.

Property owners interested in the water conservation improvement program can call Kuhna at 240-313-2430.

People interested in the USDA program can call Cashell at 301-797-0500.

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