BETHESDA - A few shovel fulls of dirt symbolically flung outside the municipal building Friday signaled the start of a journey to a better and more reliable water supply for the Village of Bethesda, its residents and businesses.
Dick Quinlin, who has coordinated the project for the village, served as the host of a groundbreaking ceremony Friday in town.
Numerous officials and entities, both locally and across the state, helped play a part in enabling Bethesda to obtain the $3.7M interest-free loan from Ohio's Water Supply Revolving Loan Account.
In addition to the loan featuring zero-percent interest over the 30-year loan period, it also comes with 40 percent forgiveness.
First and foremost, the money will be utilized to replace 90 percent of the village's main water lines.
The village's current water system has been in place since 1936 and was badly in need of updating. Quinlan estimated roughly 40 percent water loss as a number of breaks and leaks have plagued the system in recent years.
"The (current) system has outlived its use," Quinlan said. "It's very inefficient. This new project will provide the village a safe and dependable water supply."
It will also revamped the village's meter reading process.
All homes will have a new electronic meter installed to gauge their usage.
A reading process that currently takes nearly two weeks per section to complete will soon take about two hours.
New fire hydrants with be installed, ones featuring Storz fittings. The benefit of Storz-style fittings and couplings is that it can cut down on the time it takes fire department members to connect their house to the hydrant.
Storz utilizes interlocking hooks and flanges as opposed to a threaded coupling.
The village will be connected to the new, 2-million gallon water tank in Belmont and Bethesda soon will be hooked to the county's water system.
Getting to this point has been a lengthy process that started under the direction of the late Tim Zdanski back in 2009.
The village received assistance from its officials and staff, the Ohio EPA, the Rural Community Assistance Program (RCAP), the Belmont County Commissioners and a host of others.
All were present at the groundbreaking and Quinlan asked that each take a few moments to speak about the project, their involvement and what it means to the village.
"This will be good for the village," Ohio State Sen. Lou Gentile noted. "The residents certainly, but it will also be good for future development.
"Bethesda has positioned itself well for future growth."
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