Mt. Vernon Register-News

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August 27, 2013

RLCD asked to provide service

(Continued)

"It will have the same effect on me it's had before," Lucas said.

"It's my turn to speak, and I'm going to speak," Shaw said. "We have the money, we have deep pockets. ... If we set aside $100,000 per year for five years, it wouldn't hurt us. It would be a drop in the bucket. ... if people don't get water, they shouldn't have to pay taxes to this district. I'm not saying run a water line for four or five miles. ... I'm saying to provide incentives to cities to run those lines outside their areas to provide the service."

RLCD General Manager Keith Thomason defended not providing water to those who pay taxes in the district.

"People get confused when it comes to the taxes," Thomason said. "Everyone benefits, even if they don't use all the services. They have use of the lake, they have water ... they enjoy the economic benefit from the water service and the jobs. Many don't realize the economic benefit we bring to the area. Without us, there would have been no General Tire, no coal mines in the area. Not everybody will agree with this, but everyone gets a benefit, even if you don't get direct service."

Edwards said when the district built the water lines to serve residents on Bunny Farm Road, the residents received the benefit of water service.

"Those people aren't paying more taxes or less taxes, percentage-wise, but are receiving benefits from RLCD — water — that my people aren't. I'm just asking for help.

Ward said Edwards' argument is with the city of Mt. Vernon, not RLCD.

"The city isn't a water district," Shaw said. "They don't have the responsibility to serve these people."

Ward said to help the families on Sparrow Lane would be "giving special favors."

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