Franklin County Board to Discuss More Water Wells

Franklin County’s Board of Commissioners will take up the issue of adopting two more water wells into their system at their next work session – that after one commissioner implied the county might be favoring one well owner over another.

At their regular meeting Monday night, commissioners were to decide whether to accept the offer of a second water well from  local county resident Wayne Ertzberger.

Ertzberger already supplies the county with water from one of three wells the county uses from his farm on Stone Bridge Road.

On Monday, Commissioner Jeff Jacques motioned to accept Ertzberger’s offer of a second well.

Jacques said “Well #2 meets all of the criteria.  And he has requested that we take that on the line.  I would make a motion that we do so with the contract be written as all others that we currently have approved. I think this will go really well with our proposed water system expansion on Stone Bridge Road, Allen Farm, etc.”

This second well, according to county manager Billy Morse would be used as a back up water source to water the county buys from the City of Toccoa.

However, commissioner Clint Harper claimed another water well, put forth by Aubry Lunsford in 2008, is being overlooked.

Harper called for a set of guidelines for the county to follow so the wells are used fairly.

But Jacques said the use of an Ertzberger well would not impact the Lunsford well and vice versa.

Commission chair Tom Bridges agreed with Harper that the county should come up with a policy for how wells are prioritized.

But Jacques countered that demand for water overrides any sort of policy the county might put in place.

Jacques said, “From the engineering dynamics, the water is put in the system as needed.  If you have several major poultry farms that do the drought conditions, all of a sudden, the transition from their well to that component of the system, that is going to need more water in that component of the system,”

County manager Billy Morse agreed and said it would be tricky to come up with a policy.  Morse said, “We managed with the three wells that we’ve had for many years now, but now we’re adding a potential well that becomes a management issue.  So I can certainly understand the need for having something in place.”

According to the minutes of the January work session, Lunsford has had a file with the county engineer’s office on his water well for the past five years, but the well has never been brought online.

In January, Harper said Lunsford’s well should be prioritized with other wells on file.

County engineer John Phillips said however, Lunsford’s well is on a list of wells that have been evaluated and that right now, the county has more well water available than it needs, which is why it has not been brought online.