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Check comes with warning

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

The Levy County Commission was presented with a check and a warning by the executive director of the Suwannee River Water Management District.

David Still presented the county with a check for $16,525.43 as payment in lieu of taxes for district property during the commission's regular meeting Tuesday at the county courthouse in Bronson.

Still said Levy is one of 15 counties that the district serves and the area contains 60 percent of the world's first and second magnitude springs.

While the district has been able to fend off shipping its water to other thirstier parts of the state, Still said, "We're just one permit away from a water crisis."

He said the district is moving toward a regional water planning process. "We're on the edge of this," Still said.

And the process is going to be rough he said because of term limits on legislators. "Term limits have stripped our knowledge base," he said. "But we will continue to fight mining and we will continue to fight springs (use) bills."

In other business, the commission:

_ Received a presentation by Heather Hayes on services available to Levy County residents from the American Cancer Society.

_ Proclaimed the month of September as Levy County MDA Firefighter Appreciation Month at the request of the Muscular Dystrophy Association. The proclamation honors paid and volunteer firefighters throughout Levy for their "Fill the Boot" campaigns. The recent campaign raised $5,200 for MDA.

_ Approved a request from the Sheriff's Office to apply fighters from a 48-hour to a 56-hour work week. Under the new schedule firefighters will work 24 hours on duty followed by 48 hours off duty.