Phil Lyon, president of the district's board of directors, provided an update on the district's progress during the regular Scott County Commission meeting Tuesday.
"We're still moving along with sign ups," Lyon said. On June 1, however, "we'll make some hard decisions."
Lyon said he believes there are many county residents in rural areas who "may need it real bad but can't afford it."
Other residents may intend to sign up but are just procrastinating, he said.
The goal of the district is to provide water to all rural areas in the county that still aren't served by a water district yet.
On June 1, the Public Water Supply District No. 4's board plans to look at the number of residences that have signed up so far to "see if we can do this in two phases or if we have to break it down in more phases," Lyon said.
District officials at that time may also decide to raise the sign up fee, he said.
"Right now it's $150," Lyon said. "We're looking at taking it to $250-$300 for those people who have already been contacted, which is primarily the southern part of the county from about Benton south."
Lyon said if the sign up cost is raised, it won't affect residences in the northern half of the county that have not been contacted about joining the district yet. "At this stage in the game we can be flexible," he said.
County officials noted many county residents have still not been contacted by the water district for an opportunity to sign up.
Those soliciting for sign ups for the district have recently changed their rounds to a different time of day, according to Lyon. "I think that's making a major difference," he said, as they are now finding more residents at home, many of whom prefer to ask some questions before committing a sign up fee.
Lyon said the rural water district has enough residences signed up in the southeast quadrant of the county to do a project there. If the district doesn't get more sign ups, officials may do just that, he said.
"I think once we start to build, it will change the dynamics," Lyon said, "because they'll know it's actually happening."
"Thanks for all your hard work," said Commissioner Dennis Ziegenhorn. "That's a big job."
The rural district's other board members are: Dennis Meier of the Kelso area, vice president; Chris Grojean of the New Hamburg area; Larry Brazel of the Lusk Chapel area; and Tim McIntyre of the Bell City area.
Information about the district is also available by calling 380-7557.