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Huntertown angling for land switch

Huntertown is hoping to give back some land that the county gave it three years ago and obtain a different parcel after the town’s efforts to install a water well were unsuccessful.

An agreement between the county and the town is on the agenda for Huntertown’s Town Council meeting Monday.

Allen County attorney Bill Fishering said the contract is being hammered out and cautioned that commissioners have yet to approve the agreement. The item is on the commissioners’ agenda for their meeting Friday, county spokesman Mike Green said.

The county ceded about 11 acres, including easements along Carroll Road near Lima Road, to Huntertown in November 2010. The site includes about 11 acres plus easements on the Byron Health Center campus.

Huntertown is in the process of constructing a $1.8 million water filtration plant at that site, part of an overall $4.5 million project to improve the capacity and pressure of the town’s water system.

The town is seeking to transfer a portion of the land back to the county and take ownership of a different piece of property and easements nearby, Fishering said. “They originally wanted to place a well on the property, but the site did not produce enough water,” Fishering said.

The county would provide a temporary 10-foot easement adjacent to the permanent easements so Huntertown could install and maintain the water lines, according to the agreement. The county would also allow Huntertown to discharge backwash from the water filtration plant through the county’s drain to Hospital Ditch.

The agreement calls for Huntertown to continue to provide – at no cost to the county – drinking water to the existing county buildings on the campus, including the Byron Health Center and the highway, sheriff’s and health departments and Youth Services Center.

It’s not the first time the town has had water woes.

In August 2010, town officials canceled contracts to build a proposed plant near Johnson and Hathaway roads and halted work on the construction of a 2-mile water main because wells in the area weren’t productive enough to meet the town’s water needs. That 41-acre site was auctioned in October for about $200,000 less than town officials paid for it five years ago.

Other items on the council’s agenda include discussion of the trash contract, an ordinance restricting fireworks, increasing the number of Utility Service Board members and a process for locating new and existing businesses in Huntertown.

The meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Huntertown Town Hall, 15617 Lima Road.