Allen County Water Dispute Has Residents Up In Arms

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Caroline Hartmann always dreamed of living in the country, but she never imagined doing it without one of life's most essential elements.

Caroline along with 13 other residents moved to Allen County from other states. They were lured to the country life in a subdivision at the end of a country road. The county road ends where the paved road begins. Residents living back on the country road didn't have a problem with water beacuse they used spring water. That is until a feed lot came and contaminated their water supply..

"The feed lot moved in and water was severely polluted. It has E-coli like you couldn't believe," Hartmann said.

Since residents here couldn't rely on spring water any longer, they looked to the Allen County Water District for help, but found yet another problem.

"If they are federally funded with government money, they will not allow you to place a line anywhere except for county roads," said John Jones, Water District Board chairman. "When this started we got in contact with public service and we are no longer able to run the water down a private road if the citizens pay for the line."

Jones said he requested an exception for this particular case, but even with the exception, Hatmann said half the residents are disabled and can't pay the estimated $17,000 for the entire project.

According to Jones, this isn't the first time Allen County resident's have had to pay for a water line out of pocket, but he said the responsibility lies with the developer.

In a letter to WBKO, developers Hillus and David Swindle said:

"At the time of the division of this property there were no subdivision regulations in that county. We were under no rules, regulations or zoning regulations as far as the development of the property in any way. Nothing was inferred or implied that we would furnish water. We personally still own two of the tracts of land ourselves and would be very pleased to have public water run to the property. We have stated that we would gladly assist with installation costs incurred if approved by the Allen County Water District."

Residents currently pay for water cisterns that are hauled to their property.