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FWC began as a steering committee at an organizational meeting in August, 1988.
The main area of interest was north of St. Elmo. EXXON and its predecessors had furnished raw water to several farmsteads where the farm well had turned to salt water. EXXON was moving out of the area, and someone needed to supply this waterline with a continuous water supply.
Early thinking was to buy wholesale water from St. Elmo, and maybe even partner with them in a new treatment plant. That idea did not pan out, and FWC began to search for a water supply, not knowing then that the final outcome would be a water-well field and a treatment plant owned and operated by Fayette Water Company.
In the early 90's, Fayette Water organized as a not-for-profit corporation.
Its first Board of Directors was:
Phase I Ground Breaking was March 26, 1997. The Board Members at that time consisted of:
Phase II was a smaller project in 2000 that expanded the system to approximately 125 homes.
Spring 2006, Phase III kicked off with construction beginning in Bluff City with a hot tap onto a Phase I water main.
Phase III included waterline construction in the following Effingham County townships - Mound, West, and Mocassin; in the following Shelby County townships - Holland and Cold Spring; in the following Fayette County townships - Otega, Kaskaskia, Wilberton, Wheatland; and a water tower in Wheatland township.
Totaling some 110 miles, over 400 meters, and a water tower, Phase III was completed Spring, 2007.
Phase IV started the summer of 2011, and saw waterline construction in the Herrick, IL, area. Townships served in Shelby County include Herrick, Dry Point, Cold Spring, and Oconee. Construction also included Louden, Ramsey, Bowling Green and Carson townships, Fayette County. Available construction funds allowed several extensions which will be completed Fall, 2013. Totals for Phase IV are approximately 70 miles of waterline and 176 meters. This project was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which closely governed how and where the funds were spent.
The summer of 2012 saw (2) construction projects kick-off for Fayette Water, Phase V and Phase VI.
Phase V was centered in (2) Fayette County townships, Laclede and Lone Grove, with some construction in Wheatland township. Waterline construction totals approximately 62 miles, which includes a large feeder main to the Village of Farina, and total meter installation is 105 meters. This project will be completed Fall, 2013, with possibly some clean-up work later and was funded by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) which closely governed how and where the funds were spent.
Phase VI - Vandalia Lake area waterline construction totaled only 10.24 miles but serves 193 meters. This project is located in Sharon and Shafter townships, Fayette County. It too started Summer, 2012, and will be completed Fall, 2013, with some possible clean-up work to follow.
Additional construction projects are in various stages of development. Grants from DCCA are vitally important to making these expansion projects cash flow. The progress of these projects through development to construction hinges on these "Design" and "Construction" grants being awarded to Fayette Water.
Phase VII is planned for areas in many parts of Fayette Water's service territory. Many of these planned extensions will fill-in and brings water to members not served in previous projects. These areas as planned include: Otega, Avena, Loudon townships in Fayette County; West and Mound Townships in Effingham County; Cold Spring Township in Shelby County. The start of this project looks promising for Summer, 2014, but again hinges on DCCA grant awards. Phase VII commenced late summer 2014, which included water main construction in Loudon and Otego Townships in Fayette County. The project includes approximately 42 miles of water main and 130 meters. The proposed project was funded through a grant from DCEO and the remaining funds were secured from a Rural Development grant/loan.
Phase VIII has been awarded a Design Grant for Sharon Township. Fayette Water, through the local township boards, is re-applying for Design Grants for Shafter and Bear Grove Townships, Fayette County. Fayette Water Company cannot on it's own apply for any DCCA grants, but seeks the cooperation of the township or county governments in the designated areas to apply for the grants. Phase VIII will continue waterlines built in Phase VI to unserved members in areas of Sharon, Shafter, and Bear Grove Townships. At this point in time it is too uncertain to predict a start date for Phase VIII. Phase VIII was a multi-phase project that was all constructed in 2016/2017. Fayette Water receied design grants from DCEO, which allowed the design to be completed via grant funds. Applications were then submitted to DCEO for the construction of the three phases, Sharon and Shafter grants were secured first, with the Bear Grove grant being secured the following year. Additional funding was also secured through Rural Development grant/loan for additional extensions in the project area. Construction began in the Fall of 2016 and was completed in the Spring of 2017. Project included approximately 78.5 miles of water main and 195 new meters.
Phase IX has not yet been identified by the Board, but it may very well happen in the future. Construction phases for FWC have in the past and will continue to be researched and planned as needs of the members arise. Phase IX was a joint project that was completed in cooperation with EJ Water Coop. In 2014, the City of St. Elmo reached out to FWC for help with water for the Pinnacle Foods factory that was currently in St. Elmo. The City had noted the factory was looking to begin production. FWC, the City of St. Elmo and EJ Water began discussions to make the necessary improvements to their systems to allow the proposed interconnect. In the Summer of 2015, FWC and EJ Water began construction of the water main and pump station that would be necessary to provide the water the City and Pinnacle requested. The project included approximately 7.5 miles of water main installed by FWC, 4.5 miles of water main installed by EJ Water and joint construction of the pump station near the Intersection of RT 128 and Moccasin Road in Effingham County.
Phase X started in the summer of 2016. The project included multiple extensions throughout their system, and approximately 11.2 miles of water main and 18 meters in Wilberton, Otego and Sefton Townships in Fayette County and Cold Spring Township in Shelby County.
Phase XI began in the Summer of 2018 and was funded through a DCEO grant and Rural Development grant/loan. The project was divided into two project areas with the first being in Ramsey Township, just west of Herrick in Fayette County and the second being in Oconee and Dry Point Townships, just north of Cowden in Shelby County. The project consisted of approximately 15.4 miles of water main and 49 new meters.
Phase XII is a multi-phased project, which is funded by a DCEO grant and Rural Development grant/loan. The first phase was completed the Summer of 2019, which included a 2 mile section of pipe being completed in Carson Township to allow for an emerency interconnect between Ramsey and FWC. The Village was having issues with one of their wells and was looking for an emergency source should something happen in the future to their wells and our water plant. The remaining portion of the project is to start construction the Fall/Winter of 2019 and be completed in 2020. The project will include approximately 19 miles of water main in Carson and Ramsey Townships and are anticipating approximately 40 new meters.
Phase XIII is a new project that was submitted to DCEO for approval in 2019. The project consists of multiple extensions throughout Fayette County, which will be located in Carson, Ramsey, Sefton, Shafter, Sharon and South Hurricane Townships. If the project is selected by DCEO it would include approximately 13.2 miles of water main and approximately 30 new meters. If the project is selected this grant cycle, it would be anticipated construction would begin later 2020 or early 2021.
Phase XIV location is yet to be determined. As Fayette Water continues to grow and serve existing and future members of the cooperative, we need your feedback. If you or someone you know are interested in Fayette Water, please contact our office because if you are not signed up we don't know you are looking to be served.