July 08--Lewis County, which has operated the city of Vader's water system since 2010 and owned it since March, officially took control of a loan last week that funded Vader's water treatment plant.
Vader received a $1 million loan from the Drinking Water State Revolving Fund about 14 years ago for the construction of its water treatment plant.
Lewis County agreed to assume all outstanding loans on the water system when it took over the operation. The remaining amount on the loan is $496,339.28.
The county has been making payments on the loan for the past three years, according to Lewis County Public Works. The county commission made the agreement official last week by transferring all rights and obligations to the county.
In 2010, a Lewis County Superior Court order gave Lewis County control of Vader's water system due to Vader's financial instability, its inability to secure grants or loans to pay for badly needed upgrades and its delivery of unsafe drinking water.
Between 2006 and 2010, Vader experienced more than 17 boil water advisories.
Since the county assumed control in 2011, water quality and infrastructure quality have improved, according to Lewis County Public Works.
The public works department recently submitted a $717,000 state grant to fund the second storage reservoir in Vader. The county will find out whether or not it got the grant funding by September.
Vader Mayor Ken Smith previously told The Chronicle that he is focused on Vader eventually regaining control and ownership of the water system.
Part of the ownership agreement with the county states Vader would have to prove it is financially stable and have two finding-free audits in a row, before taking back the water system, according to Smith.
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