DEXTER, MO (KFVS) - More than 500 people in Stoddard County are up to their necks in water problems. Two weeks from Tuesday, voters will decide whether or not to pass a bond issue for improvements to a 40-year-old pump house.
Water District 4 board members say the $2.6 million bond issue would mean clean drinking water, the ability to do laundry, and an end to a lot of water problems.
While some voters are skeptical, most people Heartland News talked with are in favor of the bond issue. Board members say bond issue will save people money in the long run.
The vote is especially important to people like Charla Carrier who lives in Misty Acres. The neighborhood is newly annexed into District 4.
"We can't buy white clothes, I can't do laundry. We can't let the kids play in a sprinkler," said Carrier.
She and others like Mark Wollums say the neighborhood has experienced decades of issues with water from wells.
"Some of what comes out of the wells isn't fit for consumption," said Wollums.
Leaders say adding Misty Acres should also help District 4 generate enough income to pay for the bond issue without raising rates.
"We desperately need it," said Wollums.
Carrier says doctors believe the water even contributed to her husbands health problems.
"He had stage three colon cancer," said Carrier. "When it comes to my family we have to have clean water."
"It's not a tax increase," explained District 4 President Tim Fowler. "It's going to be paid for with existing revenue so we can avoid higher rates in the future."
Fowler says sporatic outages have been the main problem.
"We had a couple of times last year when residents of our district were out of water for several days."
Fowler says the current pump house has to be replaced, including pipes sealed with glue.
"The water tower is also a big issue," said Fowler. "A lot of the water mains are falling apart."
While some residents are skeptical he says a grant and other revenue should pay for the bonds. Otherwise, Fowler says keeping the existing system will only cost the people more money in the long run.
"We're going to have to fix this," said Fowler.
Fowler says a new more efficient water tower is the biggest expense. He says if the bond issue doesn't pass they'll have to bring it before the voters again at a later date.