MOUNT EATON -- An Amish school set for construction on the outskirts of Mount Eaton is seeking to tap into the village's water supply, which may prove difficult given the moratorium on allowing new customers outside the village.
Joseph Wenger, David Hershberger and Jonathan Weaver addressed Mount Eaton council members on April 5 to ask if they could tap into an existing line that runs past the property at the corner of Engle Road and Salt Creek Road where they plan to build the school.
Construction on the school will start in the next two to three weeks whether council allows them a tap in or not. The school needs water for drinking and restroom facilities. The water wouldn't be hooked up until July.
Before they made their full pitch, Mayor Ernest Raber informed the gentlemen that Mount Eaton currently has a moratorium on allowing new customers from outside the village. Village administrator Craig Hewitt also recommended to council that it not lift the moratorium because the village doesn't have enough supply for new customers.
Eleven households are tapped into the existing two-inch line, which Hewitt said was never intended for that many people to be on it.
"We're trying to hold what we have now until we get new wells or something else happens. Even if we had more volume that we could think about using right now, I still would not say tap into a two-inch line," the village administrator said.
The cost of upgrading the line to a six-inch pipe would cost between $25,000 to $30,000. The village doesn't have that money, but Wenger offered to help with the cost. Council is taking the offer under consideration.
"I don't know if the village is ready to pay that much money to improve the water volume and pressure to help customers at this time. We're concentrating more on getting new wells into production," Hewitt said.
Mount Eaton council members agreed to maintain the moratorium in December when councilman Dave Schlabach inquired about it after being approached by a couple people outside of town also asking about a tap in.
At that time, Hewitt said the village would need to tap into a well that produces 150 to 200 gallons per minute before it could consider repealing that ordinance. He also warned council about the future possibility of drought and supplying water to customers who decide to develop on vacant lots in the village.
Reporter Emily Morgan can be reached at 330-287-1632 or email@example.com.