County says no to water ordinance

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By Lou Elliott Jones, Editor

Residents considering violating the water restrictions that kick in on June 13 should take into consideration they could face arrest and if found prosecuted and guilty, a penalty of up to 60 days in jail and up to a $500 fine.
It could have been a simple case of getting a citation, like a traffic ticket, and paying a $25 fine, but the Levy County Commission decided Tuesday by a 4-1 vote it would not pursue passing an ordinance lowering the penalty. In voting no, Commissioner Marsha Drew of Yankeetown (R-District 3) in effect voted for lowering the penalty.
The commissioners instead expressed the hope that the media would educate the public about the water shortage and the outdoor water restrictions in effect until Sept. 30.
The criminal penalties are set by state law, said Steve Minnis of Suwannee River Water Management District, who advised the commission that passage of an ordinance with lower penalties could be a good move. But he did admit under questioning by the commissioners that no one in the district has adopted such a measure.

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