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Monday, November 19, 2007

Save the springs ordinance

Published Nov. 18, 2007 (Opinion)
After three years of bold assurances that Marion County would enact one of Florida's most stringent groundwater protection laws, a majority of the County Commission is balking, and just days before a formal vote on the Springs Protection Ordinance.

Three commissioners, Chairman Charlie Stone, Stan McClain and Jim Payton, have indicated they will not support the ordinance as currently written. A vote is slated for Tuesday. The trio had a change of heart after an Oct. 30 public hearing at which well diggers, irrigation installers and builders railed against the ordinance, claiming it would create financial havoc for their businesses and put a new house out of reach for many homebuyers.

Let us remind all concerned that the intent of Springs Protection Ordinance is just what it says it is. As Jim Stevenson, Florida's "Mr. Springs," famously stated, "Our springs are windows to the aquifer." In other words, when we protect our springs we're protecting our drinking water.

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