Archive for Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Water district not interested in expansion

June 20, 2006


A Johnson County rural water district is not interested in expanding services into Douglas County, Douglas County commissioners were told Monday.

That message was delivered in an e-mail by Allan Soetaert, manager of Johnson County Rural Water District No. 7, which has been discussing options for providing service to areas "not served by any entity."

But Soetaert also wrote that Johnson RWD 7 "has no plans to serve any Douglas County property at this time."

Earlier this year, Soetaert had inquired about Douglas County Rural Water District No. 4's expansion plans for the area not served in southeastern Douglas County. That caused concern among Douglas County commissioners, especially when they learned state law allows a water district to expand its services into another county without permission of that county's commissioners. Permission is only needed from commissioners in the water district's home county.

"That just doesn't make sense to us, but if that's the way it is, that's the way it is," Commission Chairman Bob Johnson said.

Douglas RWD 4, which serves a large area of southeastern Douglas, is not ready to expand its services and has not received many requests to do so, manager Scott Schultz said. Schultz and other county rural water district representatives met Monday with commissioners.

How future water service is expanded could be affected by new rural development regulations now pending before the Lawrence-Douglas County Planning Commission.

Commissioners said they favor local water districts providing service to anyone who wants it.


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