Newton, Mansfield partner for water

MANSFIELD — The city of Mansfield and Newton County are partnering to improve water service for residents of Brook Hollow subdivision off Loyd Road.

Residents there have been experiencing an insufficient and muddy water supply, according to Mansfield Mayor Bill Cocchi. The solution will be to run 4,000 feet of piping to the subdivision; four fire hydrants will also be installed, one every 1,000 feet.

The subdivision is located just south of Mansfield city limits in unincorporated Newton County but is within Mansfield's water service area. The total project cost is $79,013.72. Newton County will pay 25 percent, or $19,753.43, with Mansfield paying the remainder.

"A lot of people's wells are bad. There's mud and all that, and some need water pretty bad. We're going to work with the county to get water in there right away," Cocchi said. "We don't really have the money, but when people are hurting, you've got to do what you've got to do. That will give them more fire protection in that area because we're putting fire hydrants in there."

There are 35 homes in the subdivision; residents who want to tap onto the line will have to pay a $1,980 tap fee, Cocchi said.

Commissioner Mort Ewing, who represents Mansfield, requested the county's participation on behalf of the city. Newton County is the wholesale water provider for Mansfield.

"Ever since I've been on the board, we've set aside money to assist our retail partners in water line extensions. We do that for two reasons. The first is, because treated water on the whole is healthier than well water, we like to have people with water quality problems be on a water line where they're getting treated water," Ewing said. "Second, in the county our responsibility is to provide fire protection ... and if we put a fire hydrant every 1,000 feet, it will provide better protection for those residents."

Mansfield partnered with Newton County years ago to get water to Charlie Elliott Wildlife Center and extend service to the Newton/Jasper county line, which resulted in more customers for the county, Ewing said.