Both the City of Pontotoc Board of Aldermen and the Pontotoc County Board of Supervisors are seeing grants through Three Rivers Planning and Development for the construction of elevated water tanks.
John Byers, Community and Economic Development Director for Three Rivers said that the projects will cost some $1 million each and the grants that are being sought will cover 80 percent of the cost, leaving $200 thousand on each project to be funded by other means.
“We are seeking grant monies form several entities including from the Economic Development Administration and Appalachian Regional Commission,” Byers noted.
If the funding comes through the elevated tanks are set to be constructed in the Pontotoc County Industrial Park, where American Furniture and Fusion Furniture are located and in the Industrial Park site on Magee Drive that is being developed just north of the city of Pontotoc. Magee Drive runs west from the Cherry Creek Road.
Byers said that both the city and the county are trying to serve two purposes, “One is adequate fire protection and extra water as we secure other industries.”
Byers said that the climate has changed as far as securing industries to an area. “For a long time all you had to have was a piece of property. Now they are wanting water and sewer and good roads because the industry is trying to reduce their time for set up. The more we can have in place, it gives us a little more of an edge. We want to put our best foot forward.”
Byers said that although it seems there are plenty of buildings that is not so. “We need the new industrial area because every existing building is full.”
The elevated tanks will hold 300,000 gallons of water each. The Magee Drive tank will be supplied by the City of Pontotoc water and the Pontotoc County tank will be supplied by the Mud Creek Water Association.
Byers gave a timeline for the upcoming projects.
“The paper work is signed and we should have an answer in the next 60 days [as to whether or not the grants will be allocated]. The bidding process will take place after that then start on construction. Realistically, if all goes well, we are looking at at least nine to twelve months before you see towers standing at these locations.”
The fire protection component is enough to want a tower in place. “I’m glad they are doing this. It is a bad spot to be in when you don’t have enough water in the event of a fire. This grant will cover getting fire hydrants at these places as well as improve sewer on the Magee Drive site.”
Byers also noted that with the extra water industries can put sprinkling systems in. “It ought to help tremendously on insurance.”