NORMAN — Cleveland County commissioners denied a request by Cleveland County Rural Water District 1 to waive a survey that would identify rights of way and boundaries.
The 2-1 vote came at Monday’s Board of County Commissioners meeting. Chair Rod Cleveland was the lone vote in support of the request. The rural water district asked to use GPS coordinates to make rights of way and boundary identifications.
“We desperately need a water system in southern Cleveland County, and I fully support having a rural water district,” District 3 County Commissioner Rusty Sullivan said. “I want them to have it, but I want it to be done correctly.”
The rural water district wants to drill a well on property owned by the Department of Corrections on land that is part of the Lexington prison complex. The rural water district would serve the prison, southern Cleveland County and the town of Lexington.
“If they make a mistake, and it’s a big mistake, who would clean it up?” Sullivan said.
Richard Murnan, vice chair of the Rural Water Board, said the target for the completed system to be providing water to customers is April 2014.
“We are going to put down test holes, and those will tell us how far we’re going to have to go,” Murnan said. “My guess is somewhere around 400 feet.”
The Rural Water Board is in the process of applying for state approval to drill the well into the Garber-Wellington aquifer.
“We found out that the properties that the state manages goes under different rules,” Murnan said. “We have been working with the Department of Corrections. Sen. (John) Sparks is helping us get all the details worked out with that group.”
“There is a legitimate analysis that has to be done regarding the use of the raw water from the Department of Corrections property,” said Sparks, D-Norman. “And there is a question about the length of term that the state can contract. There is a precedent because the city of Purcell obtains its raw water from wells on the wildlife management area east of Slaughterville.”