Mary Cole is credited for making a huge impact behind the scenes of the North Morgan County Water Co-op since 1998. When it was revealed that 84.3% of wells in Northern Morgan County were contaminated a serious threat to the health and well-being of those citizens were at stake. Mary, whose husband is on the board of the Co-op, became the point person for the Co-ops members. She handles many of the duties that help make the co-op successful. Mary travels eight hours along the 100 miles of water lines to read the meters; handles the billing and phone calls, and has become well acquainted with the families involved.
Thanks to Mary’s involvement the co-op has been able to address a critical health issue and has secured over 5 million dollars in funding to do so. She has helped to grow partnerships with many communities and organizations. The co-op has been able to work with most of the towns and villages in the area including Jacksonville, Ashland, Virginia, Literberry, Arcadia, and Concord. The Co-ops waterline has even been able to be extended to provide water to the entire village of Arenzville. There are workings in place to connect Virginia as an alternate source of water for Jacksonville in the case of flooding.
Mary’s tireless efforts and support to the North Morgan Water Co-op has allowed the board to focus on building over 100 miles of an interconnected water system that has multiple water sources. There are also workings in place to extend it even further and include more rural families. This system will allow hundreds of families to have a healthy sustainable water source for many years to come. Mary is continually looking for ways to enhance the system in place, and make the paperwork system more efficient as she continues to serve the Co-op.