GOVERNOR WARNER ANNOUNCES DRY WELL REPLACEMENT PROGRAM
~Program will provide new wells for low-income citizens affected by drought~
RICHMOND — Governor Mark R. Warner today announced the creation of the Virginia Dry Well Replacement Program. The Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development will implement the program, which will provide funds to drill new wells for low-income citizens whose wells have gone dry due to the drought. The number of failed private wells is now more than 6,200 for the period July 1, 2002 through October 15, 2002.
“The severity of Virginia’s drought has left more than 6,200 households across Virginia with dry wells,” said Governor Warner. “That’s compared to about a dozen well failures in a typical year in Virginia, and many of those households are low-income families who rely on wells as their only source of water. Even in difficult financial times, clean water is a basic need the Commonwealth should help citizens meet,” said Governor Warner. “Therefore I have directed the Department of Housing and Community Development (DHCD) to create the Dry Well Replacement Program to drill new wells for affected citizens.”
DHCD will allocate $1.5 million from the Indoor Plumbing Rehabilitation (IPR) and Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) programs for the Dry Well Replacement Program. Each of these programs targets the provision of services to low-to moderate-income individuals. DHCD expects to allocate an additional $1 million in CDBG funding in FY 2003, for total funding of $2.5 million over the next 18 months.
The agency will partner with current IPR and CDBG grant subrecipients to administer the Dry Well Replacement Program.
“Running this new program through IPR and CDBG subrecipients will reduce the costs and increase the speed and effectiveness of implementation,” said Secretary of Commerce and Trade Michael J. Schewel. “These grantees are already working in the communities and have first hand knowledge of people in need of services as well as familiarity with local contractors.”
Eligibility requirements for the Dry Well Replacement Program are the same as the IPR and CDBG program. Residents must be at or below 80% of the average area income.
Today’s announcement was made at the Louisa County home of Gisella Southworth. Ms. Southworth has been without water for three months because her well went dry due to the drought. She currently has to haul water from her daughter’s house to her home. The Governor’s announcement concluded with Curtis Drilling starting to drill a new well for Ms. Southworth.
“This program is designed to help those citizens who are currently unable to help themselves and have exhausted all other means of support,” explained Bill Shelton, DHCD Director. “It is critical that we provide this drought relief and we are proud to have the means to do it.”
Other program specifics include:
* Subrecipients will be limited to five dry wells projects at a time.
* Funding is available on a first come, first served basis.
* Projects are limited to $5000 each.
* Dry wells must be a result of drought conditions.
* Wells must be drilled; construction of shallow wells is not eligible for funding.
* Funding will only pay for one drilled hole per project.
DHCD expects to begin accepting Dry Well Replacement applications immediately from eligible subrecipients, with the first new wells to be drilled in late November.
For more information about the Virginia Dry Well Replacement Program contact DHCD at (804) 371-7000.