LANCASTER - A main source of water for some Garrard County residents is no longer available, and now some water is being brought in from other counties, reports The Danville Advocate Messenger.
The water dispenser on the back of old city hall in Lancaster was a regular filling station for several people, including Gary Ray, who trucks water to homes in Garrard County that aren't tapped into a main water line.
But that dispenser is now out of order, meaning Ray has to go elsewhere to fill up - sometimes as far as Nicholasville, Danville or Stanford.
Lancaster Mayor Don Rinthen said the dispenser will not be repaired because the building, which was previously owned by the city, has been bought by Southern States. Some members of City Council want to build a new water dispensing station along Richmond Road, but that plan is opposed by Rinthen.
Councilwoman Brenda Powers said she supports building a new station, which Rinthen said would cost more than $11,000.
"We really think it's important to have that water," she said. Councilman Bret Baierlein has also expressed support for a new station.
Rinthen said he is opposed to the new station because the money would come out of the city's pocket, but the service would be used entirely by residents of the county.
Powers said she disagrees with that reasoning. "The city and the county's supposed to work together and I don't know why we shouldn't keep doing it," she said. "You have to do it to help the people."
The Garrard County Water Association and Garrard County Fiscal Court have both said they will not pay to construct a new station, meaning the City Council is the only government entity left who could decide to do it, she said.
Powers said Rinthen told the City Council the Lancaster station made more than $7,000 for the city this year, meaning it could pay for itself over several years.
But Rinthen told The Advocate-Messenger most of the money made by the station went back toward the cost of water and maintenance. The station has actually netted just $136 in profit, he said.
Rinthen said most of the county residents without water have access to a water line, but have chosen not to pay to run a line to their house. Approximately 96 percent of homes in the county have access to a water line, he told The Danville Advocate Messenger.