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Long County urged to not sell water

POSTED: August 21, 2014 3:29 p.m.
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Gone are the days when area residents relied on shallow wells for their drinking water.

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Local resident L.G. Mitcham recently approached the Long County Commission about reports that the county might sell water to an adjoining community.
During the commission’s most recent meeting, Mitcham said that other counties have made the mistake of selling water to communities whose water usage was restricted. Those counties that sold water then ended up being slapped with the same restrictions, he said.
“If we send our water out of the county, the federal government will tell us we can’t use our water,” Mitcham said.
If the commissioners decide to sell water, the concerned citizen said the measure could affect his grandchildren and future generations in Long County. He encouraged the commissioners to address local needs instead of worrying about neighboring communities.
“Do a long, hard study on it before you do that,” Mitcham said.
Before any decision is made, the question needs to be included on a special referendum so Long County voters can make the call, he added.
On Aug. 6, the Courier reported that the Georgia Environmental Protection Division will require Liberty and Bryan counties to reduce the amount of water pumped from the Floridan Aquifer by 1 million gallons a day. Hinesville Mayor Jim Thomas said he spoke with Long County officials, who were not averse to the possibility of drilling a well there.
Commissioner Dwight Gordon confirmed that the group had been approached about providing water to another county, but said he’s not in favor of it unless citizens decide by way of a referendum.
 “We shouldn’t do anything with the water unless the voters are in favor of it. And if it doesn’t go before the citizens, I’m against it 100 percent at this time,” Commissioner Willie Thompson said.
Walt Pelton gave the commission an update on the Nov. 8 Diabetes Awareness Day event. So far, plans include a 5K run, the sale of a diabetes-friendly chili cookbook, a chili cook-off and a motorcycle ride. Anyone interested can register at www.diabetes.org/stepoutsavannah or by calling 912-353-8110, ext. 3093. Participants also may sign up at Ludowici Drug Store and Pop’s Pizza or by emailing Pelton at wpelton727@gmail.com. Anyone who makes a $25 donation will receive a T-shirt.

In other business, the commission:
• approved using Littlefield Construction to resurface Arnold Drive and the final portion of Tibet Highway. The bid to complete the work was $359,243. Chairman Robert Long said that 60 percent of the cost will be paid for by a LMIG grant, and the balance will be paid from the county’s SPLOST funds.
• approved purchasing a new finance software package for the commissioner’s office. According to Long, the old system was outdated, and the new package is more user friendly for all departments.
• approved revising the county’s purchasing policy for each department. Long said that the measure was being done to increase accountability for purchases.


 

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