Sabal Trail Grant

Christa Pribble Speaks at the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday about the board applying for a grant from Sabal Trail Transmission.

LIVE OAK — Christa Pribble lives in Lake City and drove to the Suwannee County Board of County Commissioners meeting on Tuesday to plead with the board not to accept money from Sabal Trail Transmission.

“I'm a Columbia County resident, but I’m here because I’m concerned about my wells, your wells, our farmers’ wells and the irreplaceable treasures that are our springs,” Pribble said. “Please do not accept any money from Sabal Trail Pipeline.”

At the meeting, the board unanimously approved the Suwannee River Regional Library’s request to apply for a community grant from the Sabal Trail Transmission to provide funding for enhanced library automation services. The grant is in the amount of $60,343.

Before and after the board voted, concerned citizens spoke against the board taking any money. Sabal Trail is a controversial topic due to the proposed pipeline that would cut through Suwannee County and the Suwannee River.

The proposed route of the pipeline has come under scrutiny from various watershed groups including the Withlacoochee, Willacoochee, Alapaha, Little and Suwannee River (WWALS) Watershed Coalition.

However, according to county attorney Jimmy Prevatt, this grant has nothing to do with the pipeline and will in no way give the appearance of impropriety.

“They are not tied together in any way, shape or fashion,” Prevatt said. “This is a community grant, whether it’s this community or any other.”

Debra Randall with SpectraBusters questioned why the county would accept this money. She equated it with bribery.

Prevatt dismissed that idea. He said that if the money benefits the community as a whole, there is no ethical problem with accepting it.

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