Kirkersville gives up fight to stop water
KIRKERSVILLE – Village Council members have no intention to refile a lawsuit the village voluntarily dropped to stop the Southwest Licking Community Water and Sewer District from providing public water to the Flying J Travel Center, just south of I-70 on Ohio 158.
“Council made the decision not to pursue the suit,” said attorney Brian Zets, representing Kirkersville. The suit contended that Southwest Licking owned no land or easements to allow it to extend public water lines to the Flying J.
Kirkersville previously turned down the district’s overtures to supply water to village residents. Some council members and a public survey revealed that residents were concerned public water would open the floodgates to new development and damage the village’s rural character.
Ohio EPA pushed the assess to Flying J issue, finding that it’s water supply system was inadequate and encouraging the travel center to find an adequate water supply. 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 may be available to pay for at least half of a water line from Southwest Licking to the truck stop.
Kirkersville Village sought a temporary restraining order against the district to stop installation of the line. Village and district representatives met with Licking County Common Pleas Judge Jon Spahr, who did not grant the restraining order because both parties agreed to work on a resolution together.
“We were not provided any details as to why the suit was dropped,” said Southwest Licking Community Water and Sewer District Director Don Rector. “There has been no deal between the village and district.” He said the Flying J has been connected to the water system for roughly four weeks and “everything is working as planned.”
The total project cost was about $320,000, half funded through a stimulus grant and half funded through a stimulus zero percent loan, which Flying