Homer Village Board OKs evaluation of water capacity for Sunrise Coal

Homer Village Board OKs evaluation of water capacity for Sunrise Coal

HOMER — The village board voted to move ahead with evaluating whether the village can provide water for Sunrise Coal for its proposed mine in Champaign and Vermilion counties.

The board voted to accept the Homer Water Committee's recommendations that it get a consultation regarding the legality of water sales to Sunrise Coal and to authorize the Illinois State Water Survey to determine the capacity of the aquifer that the village's Ogden-area wells use.

Mayor David Lucas said in 1997, a study was completed on the village's Ogden-area wells that examined the amount of water the wells could produce per minute. He said the study found the wells can produce 100 gallons per minute.

Lucas said water survey officials said with the data from the study, they feel they can determine what the actual capacity of the aquifer was in 1997. The cost would be less than $400.

"They would review the data and see if we need to do additional research," Lucas said.

Trustee Guy James was concerned that if the aquifer had changed, then the data would not be accurate.

Water Supervisor Rob Boyer said he thought the study would provide good information for the village.

Homer officials said they know the older wells on the west side of town can produce about 120,000 gallons a day, but they are unsure about the actual capacity of the aquifer that supplies the wells on the north part of town.

Sunrise Coal, a Terre Haute, Ind., based company, hopes to build a coal mine in Vermilion and Champaign counties with the surface operation on 400 acres located southeast of Homer and north of Sidell.

Sunrise Coal is requesting 325,000 gallons of water a day initially and eventually 540,000 gallons of water a day. The village's own water use is about 120,000 gallons a day.

The board also voted to allow village attorney Pete Hendren to examine the legality of the village selling water to Sunrise Coal. It agreed to pay Hendren no more than $2,500.