BROOKSVILLE - Hernando County has more important things to worry about than securing water for residents 40 years from now, Joe Wells says.
Wells and more than 20 Ridge Manor residents picketed around the Hernando County Government Center on Friday, protesting the county's proposed well field and water treatment facility on 17.6 acres in the area of Cortez and Sherman Hills boulevards.
"We need schools. ... They (county officials) can't tell us they need the water 40 years from now. Why spend the money?" Wells said.
The protestors were worried about construction of wells opening up sinkholes, and the possibility of declining property values.
Many residents of Ridge Manor West, a subdivision close to the site, are retired and live on fixed incomes, said Ralph Ellery.
Wells said the residents began gathering at about 8 a.m. Friday, and their signs encouraged drivers to stop and ask for more information on the project.
The proposed well field is expected to be discussed at a March 11 county commission meeting, and Wells said he and his neighbors plan to attend.
A report released last month by Leggette, Brashears & Graham Inc., a Tampa-based groundwater engineering company, did not find any "adverse effects" of withdrawing groundwater at the proposed site.