07/13/06 — Princeton board rejects Johnston water proposal

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Princeton board rejects Johnston water proposal

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on July 13, 2006 1:50 PM

PRINCETON -- The town of Princeton rejected a request from Johnston County to serve water customers just beyond the town limits.

Johnston County had asked town officials to provide water to customers living along U.S. 70.

The Princeton Town Board voted against the idea at its July meeting.

The issue first surfaced in August, when two residents, Tracey Fields and Marvin Woodard, complained that their water bills were too high. Princeton has charged out-of-town customers 1.5 times as much as in-town customers. Fields and Woodard had argued that they are on a Johnston County water line and should pay less. The county rate is less than the out-of-town rate.

At the time, Mayor Don Rains said the water lines and meters were Princeton's, not the county's.

"I'm not trying to get something for nothing," Woodard said last year. "We just want to be treated fairly."

The matter was turned over to Town Commissioner Larry Withrow for further study. But when he was defeated in a re-election bid in November, the matter remained unresolved.

Three water districts serve the area -- Brogden to the south, Princeton-Kenly to the north and Princeton. Some of Princeton's lines extend into the county.

Town Commissioner Eddie Haddock suggested in January that the issue be turned back over to Johnston County so that the district lines could be redrawn. He suggested that Woodall Farms be exchanged for other land that might contain future subdivisions.

In other business, the board:

*Approved a debris removal contract for declared disasters.

*Accepted an agreement with the state Department of Transportation for declared disasters.

*Passed an amendment to the town oil and grease ordinance.

*Passed an amendment to the 2005-06 budget for a fund balance transfer.