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South Shore Foundation Approves Partial Funding for Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority
July 2007

Funds for Ozark Mountain Regional Water System

Funds for Ozark Mountain Regional Water System
Representing the South Shore Foundation, Steve N. Wilson (third from left) holds a symbolic $8,000 check for Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority, with Director Andy Anderson of Diamond City. With them are board members of the water authority, James Busbee, mayor of Marshall and vice chairman (far left), and Don West, mayor of Diamond City and board member (far right). The $8,000 grant will help the water authority continue toward the construction phase of a water project. A water intake and processing facility is to be built on the south shore of Bull Shoals Lake near Diamond City to supply water for towns in six counties.

At its May meeting, the South Shore Foundation Board granted $8,000 to the Ozark Mountain Regional Public Water Authority to seek further funding for construction of a six-county water system. Director Andy Anderson of Diamond City said the water system would serve 22 towns and independent water associations at an estimated cost of $50 million. The service area stretches from the south shore of Bull Shoals Lake west of Diamond City in Boone County to Searcy County, Newton County, and reaches into Johnson and Pope Counties.

Making a motion to fund part of the $25,000 grant request, South Shore Foundation Board Member Pat Bailey said only a portion of the project is in the South Shore area. The board was told that the new water project would provide a long-term source of safe water for communities suffering from poor quality water or limited quantity of water from wells. He said deep wells have been found to have undesirable naturally occurring substances such as radium 226 and 228, uranium, radon, fluoride, hydrogen sulfide, and other contaminants.

Anderson said the project has made a lot of progress in research and planning since its incorporation in 2004, and he said it is almost ready to begin the construction phase. Plans call for a water intake and processing facility west of Diamond City in the far northeast corner of Boone County. It will have the capacity to process 6.4 million gallons a day.

Water will be pumped from there to a storage tank on a high hill near South Lead Hill. “This will allow gravity flow to a large portion of the area served as far south as Marshall,” Anderson stated. The system will distribute water through 110 miles of pipeline. Pumping stations will be needed in the areas of Jasper, Deer, and Mount Sherman. Additional storage tanks will also be needed.

The project has been granted environmental approval by the National Park Service as “the least environmentally impacting way to supply safe, dependable, and affordable water to the region.” The Arkansas Natural Resources Commission funded the project’s feasibility study and, last fall, approved a $59,225 grant for the water district’s historic and archeological surveys. 

In mid-May, the Arkansas Department of Health ranked the Ozark Mountain Regional Water Authority project application number 1 on its list of projects based on the need for funding, Vice Chairman James Busbee of Marshall stated.  

The timetable for completing the project including a priority “critical needs” portion dealing with Jasper’s water supply and Marshall’s water supply continues forward approximately 10 years, Anderson said.

The registered agent for the corporation is attorney Thomas A. Martin of Jasper, and board members are: Boone County – Andy Anderson, Don West, Gale Ruhwedel; Searcy County – James Busbee, vice chairman, John Hinchey, Joe Willis; Newton County – James Bowen, chairman, Karen Edgmon, secretary, Gerald Norton, treasurer, Bill Braden. Project engineer is Tim Mays, with Engineering Services, Inc., of Springdale.

South Shore Foundation is the charitable arm of Northern Arkansas Telephone Company of Flippin, an independent, family owned telecommunications company serving six exchanges: Flippin, Bull Shoals, Diamond City, Lead Hill, Omaha, and Pyatt. To contact the South Shore Foundation, call 1-800-775-6682.

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South Shore • 301 East Main Street • P.O. Box 209 • Flippin, AR 72634
Phone: (870) 453-8800 • Toll Free: 1-800-775-6682

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