Welcome to the latest news
from the community of Blackwater!
USDA Community Connect Broadband Grant Announcement
12-10-09 According to the Powell Valley News, the receipt of public water in
Blackwater may be possible by Fall 2010! Rebecca Crockett, project
management with the LENOWISCO Planning District Commission, discussed Monday
(November 30, 2009) during a public hearing, a community improvement project to
serve public water to the Blackwater community with a clean drinking water
system. Offering no opposition to the project, 14 citizens attended the
meeting. They had the opportunity to discuss their ideas for the project
and discuss any possible adverse impacts that the project may have. Lee
County Administrator Dane Poe said, "The hearing gives the public the
opportunity to state their concerns and to address any complaints that are
voiced". Environment assessments must be completed with maps showing the
land that falls into the 100 year flood plain, which includes parts of
Blackwater Creek. Crockett said that no structures will be built on the
project area, only pipeline will be laid and the land will be photographed prior
to construction and returned to its original state. She also stated that
stream crossings will be necessary with the pipe laying and attention must be
paid to any endangered species. Crockett said, "The key now is to obtain
user agreements and income level surveys". The engineer is completing the
contract documents for the project, with the officials having a successful
meeting with the Scott County PSA to finalize tank and pump station locations
and the water sales agreement. The engineer is working on easement maps
and is addressing VDOT comments. The group of citizens that attended the
hearing were unanimous in their support of the project and promised to hold
community meetings and to go door to door to collect signed documents in an
effort to advance the project.
09-19-09 According to an article in the Powell Valley News Lee
County has been granted a DHCD award to install the following in Blackwater:
approximately 40,000 linear feet (LF) of eight-inch water line, approximately
25,000 LF of six-inch waterline, approximately 1,100 LF of four-inch water
line, approximately 600 LF of two-inch water line, 50,000 gallon water storage
tank, and water booster station.
09-19-09 According to an article in the Kingsport Times-News
The grants adopted for the Lee County water project will provide $1 million
toward the Blackwater project. The Blackwater project is estimated to cost
around $2.1 million and the additional cost will be covered by a $1.1 million
grant-loan combination from the Virginia Department of Health. "Having public
service gives (residents) quality water that they can depend on," said Lee
County Administrator Dane Poe. Poe said the projects are important because
they will provide public water to areas that suffer from severe water
shortages and quality problems.
Board of Supervisors Chairman Carl Bailey said expanding access
to public water has been a focus of the supervisors in recent years. "The last
two years we've really made a hard push for this funding," Bailey said. "Lenowisco
has really helped us, and there are three of us supervisors on their board. So
we've really impressed upon them the importance of these projects to the county,
and they really understand how important these projects are."
Over those two years, Bailey said Lee County has received more
grant money for water-related projects than any other county in Virginia.
Without the grant money Poe said he doubts Lee County would have
been able to do the projects. "If you had to construct them all with loan money,
you couldn't do it because people wouldn't be able to afford the water rates,"
said Poe. "In a city or a town you can do it with borrowed money because you
have four or five connections for every block. Well, when you get out in the
country with the same project, you might have three connections in a mile."
10-23-09 Meetings were held this week for certain contractors
to come and place their bids on renovations of the building where the new
computer center will be placed (beside the Post Office). Project Manager Joan
Minor called the meetings to inform the contractors of the work to be done.
Blackwater 911 addresses to be verified! Address
verification for the 911 project has now began. A company called GeoComm,
Inc. out of St. Cloud, Minnesota will be traveling the county collecting house
numbers, street names, and telephone info from different businesses,
residents, and other locations. This began on October 20, 2009 in the
Blackwater area. The "fieldwork specialist" will approach the location to talk
to the resident and if they are not available, a pamphlet of information will
be left behind.
10-30-09 Today more contractor meetings for bids in Blackwater
on the revamp of the Post Office building for the new Computer Center.
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