Chiefland, Otter Creek at impasse over water deal

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

Otter Creek officials aren’t backing down from what could turn out to be a lawsuit against the City of Chiefland.

“Our position is that we have an interlocal agreement,” said Otter Creek Attorney Brent Baris at a conflict resolution Monday afternoon with representatives from both municipalities.

In January, after about a year of negotiations on a deal for Chiefland to sell water to Otter Creek, Chiefland commissioners effectively ended the process when a motion by Vice Mayor Teresa Barron to accept the contract died for a lack of a second. 

Otter Creek continues to suffer from a dangerous water quality issue, and to solve the matter officials there had proposed constructing a pipeline between the two municipalities. Early on, the deal seemed like it was gaining some traction, but, later, other members of the Chiefland Commission began to express concern over such things as the length and terms of the proposed 40-year contract, plans for who would take control of the pipeline in the event of a default on loans and over what some claimed was widespread public disapproval.

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