Polk moves ahead with connecting water systemsPublished 4:50pm Thursday, February 14, 2013
In 2011 the school system was faced with required upgrades estimated between $30,000 and $40,000 to the well at Polk Central. School officials approached the county about running a water line with estimates obtained from the county’s Green Creek system being $656,000 at the time and from the county’s well system in Mill Spring being approximately $420,000.
The same year the school system was faced with state budget cuts and had asked the county to contribute an additional $300,000 to the school’s budget. School officials said at the time that they would rather keep teachers and programs than run a water line to Polk Central.
Commissioners Owens and Pack voted against having the school system fix its wells in 2011. Pack said he didn’t want to see the system spend money out of its fund balance that could be used for something else, if the county was going to eventually run a water line to the school.
McDermott said over the years she suggested instead of having taxpayers pay the whole bill the county should wait until someone came up with a development plan for the area so that proposals could be made for grants to pay most of the cost.
Commissioner Owens said the last grant the county requested to construct a waterline from Hwy. 9 to Landrum Road was denied. Polk had applied for a $30,000 grant based on a new restaurant coming to the Green Creek area proposing to bring jobs, but the development did not occur.
McDermott said the guy pulled out of the project, which eliminated the county from getting a grant.
McDermott said William Day, the man who owned the Polk County Liberty website during the last election and paid for liberty ads, owns a large piece of land at the intersection of Hwy. 9 and Hwy. 74.
“He’s (Day) also made political contributions to commissioners Pack and Holbert,” McDermott said. “And there has been talk about developing Mr. Day’s land for years.”
Commissioners have denied wanting to run a water line for Day and have said their reasons are to continue connecting main trunk lines in the county with the past board of commissioners running phase II of the county’s plan prior to phase I.
“Wouldn’t the best thing be for Mr. Day or someone in the Mill Spring area, or along the path of the proposed waterline, to put together such a plan so that grants could pay for most of the cost of the waterline, and so that Polk County taxpayers won’t have to pay for all of it?” McDermott asked.