Otter Creek water deal still a hot topic

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By Mark Scohier, Staff writer

A debate ensued at Monday night's Chiefland City Commission meeting over the issue of the city potentially supplying water to the Town of Otter Creek after City Attorney Norm Fugate asked about the direction he should take on the matter.

Otter Creek, which has a serious water quality issue that the Florida Department of Environmental Protection has ordered the town to correct, has been in negotiations with the City of Chiefland for months.

Opponents of the deal object to the proposal that Otter Creek would pay less for its water than some city residents.

Vice Mayor Teresa Barron said the discounted rate has been proposed in order to make the project "feasible" for Otter Creek, which is in the process of applying for grants and loans to pay for the 10 miles of pipeline that would supply the water.

Commissioner Rollin Hudson, who has opposed the suggested low rates from the beginning, asked "Why did we just raise the water rates?"

He was referring to a vote earlier in the night that will raise water rates for city residents and businesses in the next couple of months.

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