Mt. Vernon Register-News

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August 27, 2013

RLCD asked to provide service

(Continued)

"I can name five in Franklin County right now, including outside of Sesser," Ward said. "There is a line that is the city's and they would have 15 new customers. But the city will not sign off on them, they want them to annex into the city, so they won't sign off."

County Board Chairman Robert White said during a meeting he and Edwards had with RLCD general manager Keith Thomason and Mt. Vernon City Manager Ron Neibert, he was told the city doesn't have funds in the budget at this time to extend the water lines.

"I understand people being in the area for a long time and not getting water in 2013," said RLCD Board Member Jim Rippy. I don't understand people who move into the area, knowing they don't have water service, and wanting someone else to put the water in."

Board member Jere Shaw, who has been outspoken on his opinion on the issue, said in 2006 he proposed the district set aside funds to provide incentives to municipalities to help them put in the additional lines to provide water to residents. Shaw said he was voted down then. A later vote on Shaw's motion to set aside $100,000 annually for five years was also defeated.

"Why couldn't the city set aside the funds for this?" countered Ward. "Is it our responsibility to provide water to all these people?"

"I don't see why people should be part of the district if they are not being provided water," Shaw said. "I was here in 1955 when this district was established. ... At no time did people say there were only creating this district to provide water to only certain people."

"We've heard your philosophy before," Board Member Don Lucas said.

"I'm sharing it again," Shaw answered.

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