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Letters to the Editor for June 14

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Tell it to the District
Dear Citizen Readers:
Has your home well gone dry yet?  Did you know that if it does that your home owners insurance won’t cover your well replacement?  
Digging a deeper well is an expensive proposition.  Depending on how deep you need to go, it can cost several hundred dollars to get to water. Then you have to replace your pump. When the pump tries to pump air, it burns up and you will need a new one to the tune of $1,000 to $1,500—maybe more. It all depends on when you hit water.
The rural home owners in Levy and Dixie counties are in trouble. Home wells are going dry all over the place. Here in Levy County, south and west from Bronson, the scientific monitoring wells are generally the lowest in the record by far, including in Bronson, Goethe, Wekiva, Fowlers Bluff refuge and Rosewood. One of the monitoring wells that the SRWMD was using at Long Pond went dry recently. Monitoring wells in Otter Creek and Gulf Hammock are not quite as low as they were in 2002, but are pretty close. Wells near Newberry, Archer and High Springs also dropped below 2002 levels.
The springs and lakes going dry were a clear and obvious warning that the Governing Board at the Water Management District chose to ignore.  I know they decided not to see the problem because I have been telling them about it for years.  For the last few months, I have been pestering them so much that the SRWMD Chairman “chastised” me on the record for interrupting the meetings so often. My husband was accused of “throwing rocks” at the Governing Board by telling them the truth about their water models because they aren’t working. We are running out of water.  Just ask someone who has had to cough up the money for a new well.  I’m not picking on well drillers.  When you can’t flush your toilet or wash your clothes or take a shower, seeing that well rig  in your driveway is  a great feeling.
The Governing Board has been in denial that we are having a water crisis.  They are blaming it on the drought and are claiming that water pumping by agriculture and industry are not the problem.  They are continuing to hand out new big water use permits at every meeting. Many permits are for new farms on land where forests will be cut down to put in new circle pivot irrigation systems. They claim “it’s the law” that they have to keep handing out permits.  I don’t agree.
In Florida, every permit has to pass a “three pronged test” 1) Is it a reasonable and beneficial use as defined by state law?  2) Will it interfere with any existing water uses?  3) Is it consistent with the public interest?  When wells, lakes and springs are drying up all over the place, I can’t see how these last two standards are being met.
The wells that are going dry in Dixie County are generally around irrigated fields.  So are some of the dry wells here in Levy County.  
Chairman Don Quincey told the public at May’s SRWMD meeting that we need to do what we can to help Jacksonville find a way to use less water.  He blames our wells going dry on Jacksonville, Macon, GA and even Savannah, GA instead of looking in his own back yard.
The SRWMD Governing Board is in denial that local withdrawals are causing the wells to go dry here in Levy County.  I think we should demand that instead of helping Jacksonville, the Suwannee River Water Management District needs to set up a fund to help people who can’t afford the expense of a new well with low/no interest loans or grants to pay the bill for dried up well replacement. People shouldn’t have to live in a house without water.
If your well has gone dry and you are angry about how your water has been mismanaged by the water management district, I suggest you send the bill to:
The Suwannee River Water Management District, ATTN: Chairman Don Quincey, 9225 CR 49, Live Oak FL 32060.
Annette Long,
Chiefland,
352-490-8930

Thanks, from the cheerleaders
The Chiefland High School Cheerleaders would like to thank the following for helping make their Cake/Pie Auction a Success.  Over $3,000.00 was  raised
• Auctioneer: Daniel Jerrels
• Bakers: Faye Sache, Bobbie Kidd, Merci Bingaman, Lois Gore, Mindy Shouse, Tammy Jones, Melissa Mills, Sherry Hallman, Janet Hinote, Aleta Sheffield, Krystal Wimberly
• Buyers: Paige Brookins, Levy County School Board member; John Meeks, candidate for Levy County Commissioner; Oz Barker, Levy County Property Appraiser; Chris Cowart, candidate for School Board District 2; Cindy Roach, candidate for Levy County Schools Superintendent; Ben Lott, Drummond Bank; Billy Hinote, candidate for School Board District 2; James Browning, Levy County Judge; Bennett Heating and Air; Bobby McCallum, candidate for Levy County Sheriff; Brooke Ward, candidate for Supervisor of Elections; Sandra Worthington Hodge, candidate for School Board District 2; Evan Sullivan, candidate for Levy County Sheriff; Billy Hinote, Hinote Electric; Tammy Gardner,  AFLAC; Avery Baker, candidate for School Board District 2; Carol Jones; Tammy Jones, candidate for Supervisor of Elections; James Harris, Chiefland Fire Chief; Jeffery Beauchamp, Beauchamp & Edwards; Danny Shipp,  Levy County Clerk of Court; Quality Lawn Scape; Cracker Johnson,  Levy County commissioner; Mike Joyner, Levy County Commissioner; NAPA  Auto Parts; and James and Susan Harris and PPC, Inc.
Donna Brock
Advisor

Thanks, from CMS
Chiefland Middle School would like to express their sincere appreciation to the following for their donations for Faculty/Staff Appreciation
 David Renaud -Suwannee Valley Vet  Clinic
Reba Crockett –Farmers Home Furniture
Christy Couch – Merle Norman
Amy & Scott
McDonalds of Chiefland
Morgan Office Supply
Eddie & Inga Hatch of Silk Sunshine
Tammy Gardner –AFLAC
Greg Beauchamp –Attorney
Val’s Automotive
Capelli Salon (
Brooke Ward – Supervisor of Elections Candidate
Burger King
Bobby McCallum – Candidate for Levy County Sheriff
Jan Beauchamp  of Allure Gifts
Duffy & Anita Roesch of Treasure Camp
Sandy Oglesby of Mitch’s Gold and Diamonds
Ryan Bell of Bubba Que's
Donna Brock