KLRT – FOX16.com

West Pulaski community divided over city water project

FERNDALE, Ark. – There’s a push to bring city water to West Pulaski County. Central Arkansas Water has been talking with the community of Ferndale about bringing their services to that area. They held a meet and greet to answer any questions and clear up any misconceptions the community might have

Some of the controversy comes from a mailer sent out to those in the area that looks as if it came directly from CAW. There was a statement in the mailer that reads “For those who want to stop the water from coming, you won’t. You might delay it, but you won’t stop it.” There was also some contrasting information on how the project would be funded. Central Arkansas Water representatives that say this did not come from them. Now they just want the correct information out there.

If you want water in West Pulaski, you have to get it through a well. Randy Green moved to Ferndale about two years ago and this was a foreign concept.

“It’s a fairly complicated proposition to keep all of this running and when it’s not running it will ruin your whole day,” Green said.

That’s why he’s hoping to put the pipes in Central Arkansas Water’s control.

“I would sure love to have city water,” Green said.

According to CAW, it’s an $18,000,000 project to bring water to this area.

“We need somewhere in the range of 600 meters to make this project even remotely affordable for the people who live out there,” CAW Public Affairs and Communications Director Doug Shackelford said.

There’s been some confusion on who’s footing that bill. Shackelford says it would be a surcharge of about $100 a month added to the bill. It would only effect those who sign on the dotted line.

“There are certainly folks out there who have told us, ‘this is not for me,’ but there are others out there that say ‘water is very important to us and we need it,'” Shackelford said.

One of those who won’t be signing up is David Drennan.

“I have a good well. I don’t see the reason, I don’t see the point,” Drennan said.

He says he’s not opposed to city water, in fact he’s would be interested if it weren’t for the cost.

“The minimum is going to be 100 to 125 dollars a month that’s your total bill. That just doesn’t sound good to me,” Drennan said.

For him, that outweighs any benefits of city water over well water.

“It’s part of country living so I don’t have problem with that,” Drennan said.

CAW has about 300 people signed up for water. They would need about 600. CAW representatives say they aren’t in a rush, they just want to make sure the community has all of the facts before making a decision.