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by Mark Cheffey
The Marion County Public Water Supply District No. 1, which distributes water to many residents of rural Marion County, is marking its 50th year of existence.
According to a story in the Dec. 16, 1971 edition of the Palmyra Spectator, Marion County voters endorsed the proposed water district project by a 270 to 10 margin.
The vote Dec. 14 came about after a decree was issued earlier in the month by the Marion County Circuit Court cleared the way for the election.
Polls were then set up at locations in the district’s five subdistricts at the Nelsonville Store, Emerson Community Center, Little Union Church, the Four Corner’s Area and Phildelphia School.
It was the first water district to be formed in Marion County, and has continued to grow since then.
The first board members of the district were Fred Longacre, Arthur L. Schalk, Eddie Shade, George Davis and Marion Spratt.
The current members are Tim O’Brien, president; Mark Lovelace, vice president, Dennis Martin, Tim Gottman and Travis Cunningham.
The water district was officially incorporated Nov. 24, 1971, and bylaws were adopted in March of the following year. Authorization for installing the first phase of the project came on Jan. 29, 1973.
It has since gone through six phases of expansion, the last authorized in October of 1998.
The district moved into its current building in Philadelphia in 2002.
Current employees are Herman Yoder, general manager, Gaye Spratt, office manager, Tanner Tuley, serviceman, and Jessica Donath, receptionist.