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City seeking grant for new water reservoir

Taking another step toward the possibility of a new water reservoir in Butler County, the Greenville city council approved the application for a Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) of $50,000 to fund an impoundment study on the proposed project.

The grant, which would come from the Alabama Department of Economic and Community Affairs (ADECA), would need to be matched by $30,000 locally that would be split evenly by the city of Greenville, the Butler County Commission, the County Water Authority and the Water Works Authority.

The South Central Alabama Development Commission is helping draft the grant application for the study and is expected to hear news on the application next month. If approved the study would be initiated with the final plan being brought before the city and county sometime next year.

&uot;Potentially up to 3,000 acres would be involved depending on the site,&uot; said South Central planner Patrick Tritz, who attended Monday night's council meeting. &uot;Hopefully the study will contain recommendations and cost estimates at each of the locations determined by the study. Then we'll have to get back together and decide when, where, how much,&uot; he said.

Tritz said the project could take up to 10 to 15 years to complete once it's begun, and said there is a possibility the city and county could benefit long-term from selling water from the reservoir to other municipalities or counties.

Greenville and Butler County currently gets water from wells, but House of Representatives member Charles Newton, who represents Butler, Crenshaw and Lowndes Counties agrees that something needs to be done to address Butler County's long-term water needs.

&uot;For a number of years we've known we have had water needs in Greenville and Butler County,&uot; Newton said. &uot;At one time we thought that Butler County might run out of water, but we've solved that since then. We're not looking to get away from the wells but to supplement them.&uot;

Newton said that in the past there have been other options explored in finding a way to solve any future water problems, but building a large reservoir seems to be a logical choice based on the availability of other water sources

&uot;We don't have a major river to pull from so one of the major options we have is to build a major reservoir, a lake, to pull water out of and purify and put into the public system,&uot; he said.