HIGH SPRINGS – The High Springs City Commission voted 3-2 on Thursday, Nov. 8, to formally notify USDA, the project’s funding agency, in writing of the Commission’s decision not to move ahead with phases 4 and 5 of the sewer project at this time.

The action was taken despite urging by residents suggesting the City did not need to notify USDA of a decision this early and that doing so might eliminate that possible future funding source.

City Attorney Scott Walker concurred that notification was not required, but indicated the City could choose to do so or not. Walker suggested the City would have to seek bond and grant funds later if they decide to continue with those phases after notifying USDA of their decision.

Commissioners Sue Weller and Scott Jamison provided the dissenting votes in that action with Jamison cautioning that the City was in the highest vulnerability area due to the close proximity to the aquifer.

As part of the discussion, Vice-Mayor Bob Barnas suggested the City notify the 200-250 homeowners on the south side of town that there will be a fee to hook up to the system. He said residents are under the impression the City will hook them up at no cost.

Barnas also indicated that in Starke, “they are doing something better,” and referred to the possibility of “tapping into the City of Alachua,” but did not provide details on either concept.

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