WICHITA COUNTY (KFDX/KJTL) — Coronavirus relief funds from the federal government are starting to become available for local governments.
In Wichita County, they still have about $20 million of the $25 million available and will look to improve infrastructure for all residents.
Wichita County covers a lot more than just Wichita Falls. From Electra to Burkburnett and on, 633 total square miles, and an issue many still deal with: Water.
“There’s a lot of residents in Wichita County that don’t realize how many other people don’t have running water,” Precinct 2 Commissioner Mickey Fincannon said.
“$5 million of those we have pretty well obligated, then we ought to be able to spend a significant amount of money on water,” Wichita County Judge Woody Gossom said.
They hope to not only continue upkeep but with the help of the Wichita Valley Water Supply Corporation, expand water access to so many more.
“We’re thinking, one, we can improve what is there, plus add onto it for people who are not being served that have been hauling water for years,” Gossom said.
One of those hauling water for years, Commissioner Fincannon, and he knows the struggles that come it.
“Inevitably something always goes wrong, you have flats on your trailers, your tanks get leaks in them, your water pipes bust, your water pump break, there’s always something that happens when you’re out in the county and have to haul your own water,” Fincannon said.
So now, he doesn’t want to waste any time on an issue that could make a difference for generations to come.
“In my lifetime, I can’t remember a better opportunity for funding, supplied by the government or the county, to be spent on infrastructure for county residents, in my opinion, is almost as big of a deal as when electricity was coming to this area,” Fincannon said. “It’s not just to give them water, increase their property values and all that, it’s a quality of life issue.”