Water Investigation Update: past leaders left city with 300 million gallon cushion and funded projects to meet future needs

NOTE: at the end of the meeting, your city commissioners led by a Commissioner Kevin Cannon tried to FORCIBLY BLOCK this testimony from being entered into the PUBLIC RECORD. Read for yourself:

Tonight the City of Winter Springs held a special meeting (which they are calling an “investigation”) into our city’s recent water shortages and CUP violations. One of the individuals asked to testify was Kip Lockcuff, a former Director of Public Works. He revealed a couple of pertinent pieces of information: The reclaimed water plant was working according to its design as recently as 2017, which directly refutes false claims made by current city leaders that the plant “never worked” since it was built in 2013.

1. Back in 2017, the city was well within its use permits, drawing 300 million gallons less than it was legally allowed, again refuting an apparent goal of the current city leadership to pass blame for our permit violations onto past leadership.

2. Between 2015 and 2017, city leadership planned and funded a project to install reclaimed pipes to help meet future demands and provide reclaimed water for lawns for neighborhoods in Tuscawilla.

3. Current leadership did not follow through on prior administration’s plans.

Background: The Winter Springs Community Association, as part of our Water Quality Initiative, made public information requests to investigate the city’s compliance with state water usage limits. We discovered the current city leadership, including Veolia (the Flint, Michigan water company) had not met state requirements to develop alternate sources of water and had not followed through on previous plans to address growing demand for water, and had put residents at risk during the recent water shortages. We applied public pressure which led to the passage of a recent resolution, in which the city admitted to 1) violating water use limits 2) not following through on prior plans and 3) failing to adhere to the SJWMD water initiative requirements. 

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