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Published: Thursday, April 4, 2013 9:44 a.m. CDT

By Dave Beck

Project coordinator Clarke County Reservoir Commission

The Clarke County community needs an expanded water supply for the area’s future growth and economic development. Its existing water source, West Lake, will not meet modern water supply needs much longer. The ongoing drought has increased people’s awareness of this long-standing problem and the need for action.

Clarke County Reservoir Commission (CCRC) continues to make progress in moving the proposed new reservoir northwest of Osceola from planning to construction. The complex process of land acquisition for a public water supply reservoir started recently when the CCRC filed their intention to acquire land with the Clarke County District Court.

I recently received a question concerning how the acquisition of land by the CCRC will affect the amount of property taxes collected by the county. In response to a similar question from a member of the Board of Supervisors (BOS) last summer, I estimated that the 2,046 acres of land the project will acquire generates about $39,000 in tax revenue annually. In the 2013-14 budget the Clarke BOS recently approved, they list net current property tax revenues of $3,916,272 and “total revenues and other sources” of $8,658,845. Therefore the reservoir project would reduce county property tax revenue by about 1 percent annually and total county revenues by less than 0.5 percent annually.

Businesses need good basic infrastructure to be successful. Reliable electricity, access to highways and adequate supplies of safe drinking water are all important considerations when businesses are considering expanding or locating in an area. The new reservoir will play a critical role in the future of Clarke County.

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