Union-Lincoln Water Initiative weighing its options - KNOE 8 News; KNOE-TV; KNOE.com |

Union-Lincoln Water Initiative weighing its options

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FARMERVILLE, La. (KNOE 8 News) - As most of you know, the Sparta Aquifer is depleting at a faster rate than it is being replenished. The Union-Lincoln Regional Water Supply Initiative wants to help combat that problem by using Lake D’Arbonne as a source for drinking water.  And the group was ready to move forward with its plans to, until the state stepped in.

The town of Farmerville, the city of Ruston and the Union Parish and Lincoln Parish Police Juries make up the initiative.

They have plans to buy a portion of the old Lake D’Arbonne State Park at the original appraised price, $65,000.

“The new appraisal is for $115,000 and the we believe the price went-up simply because, as they say, there is some $30,000 worth of timber on the property," Farmerville Mayor Stein Baughman said.

Baughman is a member of the initiative. He said the price doubled when the state sent their own appraiser to look at the land.

"I am very disappointed in the new appraisal price. I know they have to do what they have to do, and we have to do what we have to do. I don't know if we have to get an arbitrator or if we need to let them cut the timber. I'm just not sure what we need to do," Baughman said.   

The park has been abandoned for years and on Wednesday 68 acres of it will go to auction.

But around 20 acres will remain unsold until the group decides to buy or pass.

"Next week the Union-Lincoln Water Initiative will be in Washington for some meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday. And hopefully with us all together, we will make some decisions on what route we would like to take," Baughman said.

Baughman says Union-Lincoln Initiative is just trying to find a way to provide the two parishes with good, quality drinking water, without continuing to deplete the Sparta Aquifer.

If you're interested in bidding on 68 acres of the old Lake D'Arbonne State Park, the auction is scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Union Parish Sheriff's Complex.
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