The Norman Transcript

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January 1, 2013

Rural water well project advances

NORMAN — Water solutions are under way for residents in Lexington, and Cleveland County commissioners met for the last time in 2012 without 22-year veteran commissioner George Skinner.

County commissioners Rod Cleveland and Rusty Sullivan bid good-bye to outgoing District 2 County Commissioner George Skinner who is retiring after 22 years of service. Skinner’s seat was vacant Monday morning at the County Commission Board meeting because of illness.

“We hope that he gets better and starts getting to enjoy his retirement,” said Commissioner Rod Cleveland.

“George (Skinner) has been a good friend and colleague and has brought a lot of leadership,” said Commissioner Rusty Sullivan.

Both said Skinner would be missed.

Commissioner-elect Darry Stacy will take the oath of office on Wednesday.

During regular business, Cleveland County Rural Water District Manger Richard Murnan reported to county commissioners on target dates for the ongoing water well project that will serve the city of Lexington and area Department of Corrections facilities.

If all goes as planned in accordance with USDA project guidelines, water should flow by April 2014.

Murnan said attorneys hired by the water district are working on purchase contracts and easements. The Water District Board continues to survey customer interest as well as working to secure the Community Development Block Grant funding that will pay for a 2-inch pipeline. Most of the funding will come from appropriations made available through the USDA.

“Our biggest expense since August has been the archaeological survey,” Murnan said.

The primary users will be the city of Lexington which will purchase at least 23 percent of its water supply from the rural water district and the Department of Corrections facilities in the area, namely the Lexington Assessment and Reception Center commonly known as LARC and the Joseph Harp Correctional Center. DOC has committed to purchase 12 percent of the 160 million gallons those facilities use annually from the rural water district.

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