Retirement event held for RWD No. 21 veteran
Rural Water District No. 21 honored Tom Head Jr. for 44 years of dedicated service on the water district’s board during a reception held Thursday, Dec. 10, at the water office in Grainola.
As one of the water board’s original members in 1971, Head helped get the start-up funding for a design that involved 10-inch water mains and wells drilled along the Arkansas River in eastern Kay and western Osage counties. The first homes to receive RWD No. 21 water were in Kay County.
Federal funding initially ran-out during the Nixon administration, which caused the laying of pipe to be suspended for a year. By the time funds to complete the project became available in 1976, price increases had made the 10-inch water main too expensive — so the remaining main was installed using six-inch pipe. When finally completed, the system included 264 total miles of pipe between Newkirk and Pawhuska. Approximately 400 families receive their water from the 21st Rural Water District.
Head served in several capacities on the board, including the office of vice president. Most years, however, he served as the secretary/treasurer.