Thursday, February 26, 2015

Etowah Completes Wastewater Improvements for Residents

The Town of Etowah, located in Mississippi County just 12 miles west of Osceola along Highway 140 and 77, recently completed improvements to the wastewater system to benefit current and potential residents, as well as local offices.  The completed project provides decent, safe, and sanitary wastewater facilities for new users and improved service for the existing users.

Etowah originally constructed a wastewater system in 2004 to serve the Town.  After the construction was completed, other areas wanted to be added to the system, as existing septic tanks in the area have a high failure rate.   The previous system, consisting of a combination of gravity and small diameter collection lines with some individual pump/grinder stations, served around 143 users.  The improvement proposal was to extend the wastewater service to serve an additional 26 users including the Little River Water office that is on State Highway 77 and to make upgrades to some existing pump stations and the wastewater treatment plant.  A combination of grant funds and loans were used to complete these much-needed extensions, which consisted of two new wastewater pump stations, gravity sewer lines and force mains, as well as making pump station and wastewater plant improvements for the existing system.

Construction of the waste water line extensions and improvements were completed in early February, 2015.  Twenty-four new residences, a farm shop, and the Little River Water Association Water Office have been afforded access to a safe and sanitary wastewater collection and treatment system, as well as improvements being made to the existing collection and wastewater treatment facility. Twenty-three of the twenty-four new residential users received free hook ups from the CDBG funds due to their Low to Moderate Household Income.

Etowah Mayor Charles Bo McCollum hopes that the improvements will help the Town appeal to incoming industrial workers as an option for living within a rural setting to settle if they so choose. He is happy with the results of the project, further stating, "the Town of Etowah is most blessed to be in Mississippi County.  This new addition to our waster water system is beneficial to the citizens of Etowah and the outlying area to the south of the city limits on State Highway 77.  Houses along the South State Hwy 77 now have the convenience of having wastewater treatment rather than septic tanks.  This also includes the Towns fresh water source Little River Water."

This project was made possible by the USDA Arkansas Rural Development, who provided $148,000 in Water/Environmental Program (WEP) loan funds and $192,000 in WEP grant funds, along with leveraged funds from HUD’s Community Development Block Grant funds administered by the Arkansas Natural Resources Commission in the amount of $403,850.

The Town of Etowah is a proud member of the Osceola/South Mississippi County Chamber of Commerce.


Thursday, February 19, 2015

Chamber Collecting Snacks for Student Testing

Standardized testing is a huge task to orchestrate in both Osceola and Rivercrest school districts, with nearly all grades partaking in multiple sessions through the year.  As a way to help keep students' morale and focus at a good level, snacks are provided to not only welcome a break, but also refuel their mental and physical energy.  However, with approximately 110 students per school per grade level, and at least 3 testing sessions planned for the year, the quantity of snacks needed for students quickly adds up to a substantial amount.  This has proven to be a struggle for districts to satisfy through limited funding.

The Osceola/South Mississippi County Chamber of Commerce Education Committee, with the encouraged support of area businesses, organizations, and individuals in our communities, hopes to show our collective support of local students by helping alleviate this burden and ensuring they have snacks as a welcome break from the tedium of testing.

The Chamber will collect donations now through March 30, and will deliver the items to each respective school district.  Both purchased donations of snacks or drinks and monetary donations with which to buy them will be accepted.

If you wish to donate items, all quantities will be helpful, as items can be mixed and matched through the grades and classes to give variety.  Suggested snacks include any reasonably healthy, individually wrapped and/or portioned food and drinks, such as:

  • Juice boxes
  • Capri sun pouches
  • Cereal bars
  • Granola bars
  • Fruit snacks
  • Healthy snack cakes
  • Chips
  • Pretzels
  • Peanut butter crackers
  • Bananas, apples, or oranges
  • (please refrain from donating chocolate)

We are planning two drop off days, one on March 4 and another on April 2, to ensure both product freshness and ease of delivery.  We will make purchases with any monetary donations within a few days prior to each respective drop off date above.

For more information or to drop off items or monetary support to purchase items, please feel free to contact the Chamber at 870-563-2281,, or stop by the office at 116 N Maple, Osceola.

Both Osceola and Rivercrest School Districts are proud members of the Osceola/South Mississippi County Chamber of Commerce.