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Flying J water project still alive

KIRKERSVILLE – A proposal to provide public water to the Flying J Truck Stop has Southwest Licking Community Water and Sewer District Director Don Rector going with the flow.

He said the Kirkersville Village Council took no official action toward approving the proposal during an Oct. 15 special council meeting, but he’s encouraged that the council is still willing to discuss it.

Some council members who remembered a referendum to block Southwest Licking from providing public water to Kirkersville gave the proposal a chilly reception during the Oct. 7 council meeting.

Mike Baker, chief of the Ohio EPA’s Division of Drinking and Ground Waters, told council during the Oct. 7 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. 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.

“We’re still negotiating,” said Mayor Terry Ashcraft. He said council members Debi Seymour and Sharon Temple would meet with Rector Monday to discuss the proposal further.

Seymour said Wednesday she sincerely hopes to reach an equitable agreement with Southwest Licking. “I’m hoping so,” she said. They’re going to do it one way or another,” and Kirkersville needs to benefit in some manner should the Flying J gain access to public water. Seymour said it may be possible for the village to charge an access fee for a water line to cross its right-of-way, and although the majority of residents voted against public water with the referendum, some still want it and may appreciate access. “We have to look at it from all aspects,” she said.

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