"I feel if it would not have been for Mark Critz we never would have got it," she said. "By Mark not getting Mr. Murtha's seat there is little hope for us small communities."
Ralphton water problems are nothing new. Critz's predecessor and former boss, the late U.S. Rep. John Murtha, tried to bring good water to Ralphton when Critz was his district director.
"He continued Mr. Murtha's work," she said. "He saw that the county commissioners got the grants. He worked with the water people."
Caldrone, who has met Critz, said that the congressmen knew from working for Murtha how important the water situation was.
"He's more like a hometown person," she said. "He was in for the people."
She said that even when Murtha was working on the project, she believes Critz was doing the legwork.
"He was in the job for the people," she said. "He's a unique man, a caring individual. He really does care how we feel."
Critz was always a cellphone call away on projects such as Ralphton, according to county Commissioner Pamela Tokar-Ickes. Tokar-Ickes met Critz in 2000 when she began her first term as county commissioner.
One particular phone call came in 2008 when the Route 219 project was about to lose federal funding because the state had not identified a $35 million match. Tokar-Ickes picked up the telephone and called Critz.
"That was an 11th hour call to try and assist our state legislators to make sure the $35 million would be allocated for the project," Tokar-Ickes said. "He's on my speed dial and he answers his phone. That's very refreshing."
Whether it was telephone calls for state funding as an aide or voting for the toll credit language changes this year, Critz has been supportive of the project, Commissioner John Vatavuk said.
Vatavuk said Critz's strength as a congressmen came from Murtha. Not only did he learn from Murtha but being on his staff allowed him to make contacts he kept when he became a lawmaker himself, he said.
"He probably dealt with more people than Murtha did as his director," he said.
Critz served as a staff member on the Somerset County Leadership Team, which works with the commissioners on issues, as a staff member and made sure his staff was represented on the team. Tokar-Ickes said Critz did a lot for the county that people do not know about. She said as a staff member Critz was an "unsung hero" to the county.
"That's what he continued to do as a congressman," she said. "Many of the things he did most people probably didn't know about."
Vatavuk met Critz in 1999 when Vatavuk ran for the state House and considers him a friend. Vatavuk said being a politician did not change Critz.
"Since he got elected he is still the same person," he said.
Part of being the same person is being concerned in infrastructure projects and knowing the value of a strong infasturecure in bringing growth to an area, he said.
Ed Sheehan, CEO of Concurrent Technologies Corp. in Johnstown, said Critz has not changed in the 18 years he has known him.