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Residents of Mount Sterling and Gratiot are on their way to being connected to Muskingum County's water supply.
The county has been working with the village of Mount Sterling to replace its existing water supply with a new water line. Muskingum County Projects Director Don Madden said once that decision was made, Ohio EPA asked the county if it would extend service to the Gratiot area because of contamination problems.
"With the wells in the Gratiot area, they are just slightly over what they refer to as the maximum contaminant level for arsenic," said Madden. "While it has allowed the county to acquire additional grant money to serve the village, they are just barely exceeding what's considered the maximum safe limit."
Madden said the county is moving forward with its plan that now includes Gratiot. Funding from Ohio EPA will cover about 40% of the project, and the rest of the money will come from a Community Development Block Grant, connecting fees paid by residents and a 0% interest loan.
"One of the stipulations of the grant is that there needs to be public involvement to make sure that the public is aware of what's going on with the project," said Madden. "If they have questions or comments, we want to make sure that those issues are addressed."
A public meeting is underway at Gratiot Town Hall until 7 p.m.