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Schools in Lyons Drill to Save Money
Thursday, 05 August 2010

August 5--  The rising cost of city water in Lyons to keep sports fields alive is prompting the Toombs County school system and Robert Toombs Christian Academy to drill their own water wells.

Tuesday night the Lyons City Council granted the school system a waiver to drill two wells and RTCA one well in the city limits.

Toombs County High School athletic director Kevin Hill made the request on behalf of the school board.

"One well at Booster Stadium and another at the high school will be used for the watering of grass only.  We're in a real bind as far as doing that because we had to cut the water off at those fields this Spring because of increases in water bills," he said.  He told the council his phone has been ringing off the hook because the fields are dying.

The water bills have almost tripled at some of the fields.  In April, the bill to water Booster Stadium's field was $1,202.50.  In May, it doubled to $2,447.75, and in June it rose again to $3,160.00.

At RTCA, Headmaster John Sharpe says their water bills for the football and baseball fields jumped to between $5,000 and $7,000 a month.

Lyons City Manager Rick Hartley says most of the increases are due to mistakes made by the city water meter reader whom he said was not applying the proper multiplier to the readings at the fields.  Hartley reports the state Environmental Protection Division requires the city to charge more as a conservation measure. 

In Vidalia, school officials say their July bill to water four fields at Vidalia High School was $1,337.43 and the bill at J.r. Trippe Middle School for two fields was $673.38.

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