News Local/State

Water Contract for Mine Back Before Homer Board


A plan to sell treated water and sewer services to set up a coal mine is back before the Homer Village Board Monday night.  At least one board member wants to know why.

On February 11th, the board voted 3-2 against the water contract for Sunrise Coal.  But on Friday, Mayor David Lucas told the News-Gazette that one of those village board members – he wouldn’t say who – was reconsidering his no vote.

Trustee Roy Woodmansee said it’s beyond him how the vote can be brought up again.

“No means no," he said,citing the vote a month ago.  "And I’m firm on standing on that on those grounds.”

Woodmansee said Mayor Lucas is solely responsible for bringing this issue up again, and he’s ignoring the wishes of citizens concerned about groundwater and air quality.

“I’m just at ends with this," he said.  "Everybody that I have talked to says ‘I wish this was over with. I wish this was over with.'  In my book, this was over with February 11th at 7:30.”

Woodmansee said the pressure could now be on trustees Ray Cunningham and Larry Mingee, who have supported the mine. 

Trustee Guy James has opposed it, but was away at last month’s meeting, while Trustee Mike Johnson changed his vote from a ‘yes’ to a ‘no’ prior to the February meeting. 

Mayor Lucas contends the mine is inevitable, and the village needs the revenue from a water sale.  He couldn’t be reached for comment  Friday.

Recent Homer Village meetings have brought as many as 60 people to the audience, most of them Homer residents opposed to the mine.

The Homer Village Board starts at 7 p.m. Monday at Village Hall.