October 12, 2017
JCWSA member Ken McMichael spoke to the BOC and wanted them to sign a joint letter to USDA opposing the city of Monticello’s “Megasite” project.
Mr. McMichael told the BOC the JCWSA has always intended to use the “Feldspar Lake” (and wells) on Hwy 11 South as a water source. The JCWSA also requested that the BOC sign a joint letter to EPD, requesting that any water permit for the site must be issued to JCWSA and the City of Monticello jointly. He said, “This is a valuable resource to be protected and must be shared with all citizens of Jasper County.”
Mr. McMichael said there was no other source of water in Jasper County, and said there was a need for a long-term water study. Was this brought up so that Jasper County, not the JCWSA, would fund a water study? Let us not forget that EPD indicated previously that Jasper County has an adequate water supply and has not shown a need for an additional water supply.
Note: Carter and Sloope, former City Engineers, had done water studies at the site when JCWSA and the City tried to get USDA to fund a joint project from the same site as a water source years ago. Carter and Sloop’s report emphasized that the Feldspar area is not a good water source. Frank Sherrill, JCWSA’s engineer, has said the “geology does not change”. If that is true, what would a new water study reveal?
Comm. Pennamon asked, “Have any plans been put out by the City as to what they want to do with land?” Ken McMichael answered, “Yes–the largest industrial park in the area.” Then he asked, “Why was 700ac purchased if it is only a water source? Why build on top of a water aquifer?” Comm. Pennamon said he had not seen a plan. However, we do know that the City has applied for the USDA loan, but they say they do not have to reveal the amount.
Comm. Pennamon then called for a joint meeting between the City, County, and JCWSA to discuss the water issue. Comm. Henry said any “experts” should be at the meeting as well.
This meeting, when it takes place, should be open to the public and should be very interesting.
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed, can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.