Benton and Associates will perform design and engineering work for Phase 7 of SMG project

By Nick Kovatch on December 23 at 1:36pm

Phase 7 of the Scott-Morgan-Greene Rural Water Cooperative expansion project is one step closer to fruition.

SMG Water Co-op is applying for a Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity CDAP Grant for more than $30,000. Morgan County Commissioners approved an ordinance that allows Benton and Associates of Jacksonville to be the grant administrator and perform design and engineering work.

Benton and Associates was the only applicant for the grant administration portion of the project. B & A beat out MECO Engineering of Hannibal, Missouri for the design and engineering work.

Zachary Boren is an attorney with Rammelkamp Bradney representing SMG Water Co-op.

“B & A put a shorter timeline for completion,” says Boren. “B & A had more experience doing actual rural water and CDAP projects in general. And B & A had experience with this particular potable water distribution system. They had design, I believe, all of the other phases of SMG.”

This is part 7 of a 10 phase project that’s been going on for over 20 years. More than 90 residents in South Central Morgan County are in line to get connected to SMG. Well water in that area doesn’t meet EPA requirements.

Boren says it’s unclear when Phase 7 will start.

“Nothing starts until the state actually hands out the money,” says Boren. “We’ve been actually asking now for a while when that’s going to happen. As I understand we don’t have a clear understanding of when the state is actually going to hand out the money.”

The total design cost for the project is over $200,000. The rest of the funding will come from USDA Rural Development loans and grants.