All is not ‘well’

Published 12:00 am Thursday, March 22, 2007

WINTON – Seven families just outside of Murfreesboro are in dire straits.

Harold Tucker represented the families on Vaughan Creek Road who all have wells which have been deemed contaminated by the Hertford County Public Health Authority, according to his presentation.

Tucker appeared before the Hertford County Board of Commissioners Monday night to request an extension of the water line in the Northern Rural Water District.

He said the families all had need of county water and that the five shallow wells and two deep wells in that neighborhood were all contaminated. He added that four of the seven families had members dealing with cancer.

Commissioner Dupont A. Davis asked to hear from Public Works Director Melvin Nichols.

Nichols said Vaughan Creek Road was originally part of what would have been Phase II in the Northern District, but the expansion was not completed because of the lack of grant funding.

He said he had suggested Tucker seek help from the Murfreesboro Town Council or the commissioners.

“I don’t have the authority to expand the water system,” Nichols said. “I told them they would have to come to you.”

County Manager Loria D. Williams said she had spoken to Tucker and said the county could look into the cost of adding the road to the system.

Commission Chairman Curtis A. Freeman said he would like to see a study of adding the road through the county system or working with Murfreesboro to expand the town system since it was inside the town’s Extraterritorial Jurisdiction.

Williams said the problem would be studied and, if it were approved by the local board, would also have to get state approval.

Davis asked County Attorney Charles Revelle if the funding for expansion would have to come from the Northern Rural Water District and Revelle said it would.

The attorney said the board would have to look into the cost of the addition to see if the system could handle it.

“No one denies there is a serious need,” Revelle said. “Definitely the fact that the water is contaminated makes this a different situation than some of the requests that have come before you before.”

Commissioner Johnnie R. Farmer asked that a copy of the report showing the wells to be contaminated be given to the county.

Freeman said, “What we’ll have to do is have Mrs. Williams look into this. Certainly, as the attorney pointed out, having health concerns makes this a different situation.”

Tucker told the board he appreciated their concern and their action.

“Whatever you can do for us, we’ll appreciate it,” he closed.