2010-05-08 / News

Flying J will have public water soon

KIRKERSVILLE – Work continues on a Southwest Licking Community Water and Sewer District water line to the Flying J Travel Center in Kirkersville even though the Village of Kirkersville has a pending court hearing to stop it.

District Director Don Rector said the line is completely installed and testing is in its final stages. “Once we get the all clear from the bacteria tests we will be ready to put the Flying J waterline into service,” he said. “We anticipate they will be using our water this week.”

Rector said there were a couple potential dates for a court hearing, but both entities agreed to delay a hearing in hopes of coming to an agreement. “In spite of our differences, we appreciate the village’s officials and residents understanding as we proceeded with construction,” he said.

Rector said the village still has an active pending legal action, which will have to be resolved or withdrawn. Also, he said the district and village may work out an agreement for the village to be a water supplier in Kirkersville. “The time constraints with the (federal) stimulus money required that we move forward to serve the Flying J,” he said.

As of Wednesday, public water was not yet flowing to Flying J.

“We have no agreement with (Southwest Licking),” said Kirkersville Mayor Terry Ashcraft. He said he wasn’t willing to comment further since the issue is in litigation. Ashcraft believes the next court hearing will be in June.

Mike Baker, chief of the Ohio EPA’s Division of Drinking and Ground Waters, told council during its Oct. 7, 2009 meeting that the Flying J’s existing water system is “stretched beyond its capacity” and federal stimulus money would be available to pay for at least half of a water line from Southwest Licking to the truck stop. Baker said the Ohio EPA has “concerns” with the Flying J’s existing water system and the village would be charged nothing to install the water line.

The village’s objection stems from a referendum passed to stop Southwest Licking from running water lines into Kirkersville Village. Some residents and council members worried doing so would promote development in the village and destroy Kirkersville’s rural atmosphere. They believe providing public water to the Flying J would eventually open the door to extending the water lines further into the village.

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