Columbia County Commissioners Reject Water Withdrawal Request

Hello Everyone,

The outcome of Thursday (Sept. 17, 2009) night’s Columbia County BOCC meeting was a group of elected officials strongly in favor in protecting our public natural resources.

The Columbia County BOCC will be sending a letter representing their concerns and ours.  When we receive it, we will forward it to you all.  They decided unanimously to show written support in keeping water bottlers out of the watershed of the Santa Fe River in southern Columbia County.  They will not allow any type of pipeline nor allow any industrial construction relating to such a business anywhere near the springs or river.

The letter will be written to Mr. David Still, Executive Director of SRWMD and also to state officials.  Mr. Still has not responded to Mr. Cheeseman’s request to the district for modifications to an existing Water Use Permit.  It is possible that such a strong position from Columbia County may send this WUP into a revocation process since Mr. Cheeseman only had 2 years ago to act on his permit…technically he is overdue.

Mr. Cheeseman has never submitted a completed permit application in either Columbia County or Ft. White.

I am thankful and proud of Columbia County, especially our own district elected commissioner, Mr. Dewey Weaver, for standing up to this type of business and being a staunch advocate of protecting our natural resources.  It was also reassuring to know that citizens such as the Cannons from Levy County, and groups such as Save Our Suwannee, got our backs when it comes to being the voice of the river.  They spoke intelligently…with facts.  AND, it was great to see many familiar faces in the audience.  OSFR thanks you.  The river thanks you.

This letter is a BIG step in the right direction, but it is not over…yet.  The WUP must be revoked by SRWMD for it to be over.

Also…Please read a terrific story at the end of this short trail; about 2 “lawyerless” people who voiced opposition to a land development in Marion County and WON.   It is wonderful to know that people just like you and me still have a voice in how land and water gets used.
Thank you too for all your letters, phone calls and support.
Merrillee Malwitz-Jipson
president, OSFR
please note, I can be reached at 386-454-4446 (leave a message, I will call back)

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