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Douglas County Oks new water plant

Published on -10/10/2013, 12:33 PM

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LAWRENCE, Kan. (AP) -- Douglas County has approved a permit for a new water treatment plant east of Lawrence that some said could encourage sprawl in southern Douglas County.

County commissioners on Wednesday approved the permit request from Public Wholesale Water Supply District No. 25 after heated discussion about whether the plant would encourage more residential development in unincorporated rural areas, which aren't served by municipal water systems, The Lawrence Journal World reported (http://bit.ly/162Flw1 ).

Water district officials said they need additional capacity because of increased demand.

Cille King, a Lawrence resident whose family owns land outside the city limits, said the new plant would encourage wasteful consumption of water in rural residential areas. King urged the commissioners to reject the application.

Commissioner Jim Flory, whose district covers the western part of the county, bristled at King's suggestion, calling it "offensive" to rural residents.

"The water sprinklers that I see on lawns to keep them lush are in the city, not the rural area," he said. "We use sprinklers to water our tomato and squash plants."

Flory said county regulations control residential development in rural areas and that if people comply with those regulations when they buy property and build a home, the county should not interfere by limiting their access to water.

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Information from: Lawrence (Kan.) Journal-World, http://www.ljworld.com

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