Water Woes/Water Wars

By: Valerie Lacy
By: Valerie Lacy

You have dig deep in the well of history to see where this battle over water began, residents say, back to 40s and 50s when the water district inherited the system from the military. Since then boil water notices plague the village every few months.

Drive into Lanark Village and the war is fresh on the minds of residents.

Bill Snyder, a Lanark resident, said, "This district is broke, it's out of money, it's ancient, it's wore out and they're charging a readiness to serve fee to landowners that don't have a service just to raise money and it's hurting, it's wrong."

Snyder's referring to an independent audit of the board by Carr, Riggs & Ingram, LLC, It shows the board's losing tens of thousands of dollars per year. In 2004 the board lost more than $56,000.

In 2005 the board lost more than $71,000. At the beginning of 2004 the board held $677,000 in net assets. By the end of 2005 that number dwindled to $549,000.

Board members have a plan that would include accessing loans for expansion.

Barbara Rohrs, Water District Commissioner, said, "It would increase the customer base which will help the budget for the district and also we have an opportunity to sell 20 acres in the back of the community. We know that our area is desperately in need of moderate to low income housing."

Some residents say they're not happy with that idea. They want this board disbanded and they want Carrabelle's utility system to take over.

Residents will voice their opinions in a non-binding referendum on the ballot November 7.


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