Westover seeks funds for water line

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, December 13, 2005

The Town of Westover is looking for a grant or loan to expand water lines to accommodate fire hydrants, which could also lead to annexation of more Highway 280 land into the city.

But everyone doesn’t see that as a positive.

Councilmember Susan Strickland stated she is against putting the town in debt for 30 to 40 years to bribe landowners to annex into the town.

In separate actions on Dec. 6 the town voted to seek a grant or loan to improve water lines in the town to accommodate fire hydrants. And the council heard the first reading of annexation ordinances for nine parcels of land.

The council voted 5-1 to seek to seek the grant or loan for the water line expansion with Councilmember Strickland casting the lone &8220;no&8221; vote.

Mayor Mark McLaughlin said of the possible water line expansion, &8220;We have got to start somewhere. He said the town would seek as much as it could get financially to improve the water lines to help the (entire) town with fire protection.&8221;

Property owner Cynthia McKinney, who owns part of nine parcels of land along U.S. 280 that seek to annex into the city pending the provision of water and sewer services, explained her position.

While a motion and second was received on an annexation agreement with the property owners in question, that action will be carried over to the council’s Dec. 20 meeting.

&8220;We asked for this agreement because we know what goes in there (along U.S. 280) will support the town in the future.&8221;

Also, according to the annexation agreement, if water and sewer services are not provided by the city, the land in question may be deannexed.

&8220;I am not nor are any of the citizens that I have spoken with against upgrading the water system and putting in fire hydrants,&8221; said Strickland. &8220;What we are against is putting the town in debt for 30 to 40 years to bribe these landowners to annex into the town. These landowners do not even live in Westover. If they wanted to become part of the town then why can’t they do it willingly and without bribery. The citizens would welcome them with open arms. It just appears that the mayor and council are trying to slip something else by the citizens.&8221;