Suwannee Democrat

Local News

September 15, 2009

<font color="#0033CC">LIVE OAK CITY COUNCIL:</font> Water means growth, say city officials

Well fields near I-10 will open door to development

The city of Live Oak is looking to the future as far as economic development is concerned with the recent investment in 70 acres off 72nd Trace near I-10 in Live Oak.

The land will be used to construct three wells for drinkable water, associated easements and an elevated water storage tank that will greatly increase the amount of water available to the area. The city will own about three of those acres. The rest will be used for buffers and accessibility. Restrictions prevent future use incompatible with the current arrangement. The city paid $750,000 for the land and easements.

In order to pay for construction costs, the city was awarded $3 million in stimulus money. The remainder, about $2.3 million, will come from pledged revenue funds from the new state prison.

The stimulus money was given to the city to fund a solution to the city's aging water infrastructure and problems with water pressure. The current system will not support growth in the city, say officials. If the city failed to act on securing a well field site, the city would have to spend upwards of $6 million to rehabilitate the current water treatment plant. If satisfactory water is found, the new system would not require water to be treated. In addition, the new wells will allow older ones currently in use in the city to be abandoned, saving on maintenance costs.

City Administrator Bob Farley said the city needs to move forward, and that can't be done with the current system, which is over 50 years old.

"Several developers have approached the city in the past and due to our current fire protection system we have been unable to meet their needs. This new system will allow us to bring development to the city of Live Oak," said Farley.

Mayor Sonny Nobles agreed.

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