Ogden opposes sale of water to coal mine near Homer
HOMER — An Ogden village trustee presented the Homer Village Board with a letter stating Ogden's opposition to Homer's selling water to a proposed coal mine.
The letter, delivered by Ogden Trustee Sonja Vickers, cites water supply and environmental factors among the village's concerns.
Homer is investigating whether wells around the village, including one on the north part of town, could supply water to Sunrise Coal. The company, from Terre Haute, Ind., hopes to build a coal mine in Vermilion and Champaign counties with a surface operation of 400 acres located southeast of Homer and north of Sidell.
The company is requesting 325,000 gallons of water initially and eventually 540,000 gallons of water a day. The village uses 120,000 gallons a day.
Homer resident Mary Kay Anderson told the board she was concerned about the environmental effects of the coal mine on area.
"I just wanted to let you know I was concerned about it," she said. "Some people may be concerned about the salability of their property in the future."
The board also discussed how the board cannot prevent the coal mine from coming to the area.
"If we do not sell them water, they will get water regardless," said Homer Trustee Kevin Knott. "It's still going to come through."
Knott said that the coal mine is out to make money and the only entity that could prevent the mine would be the Illinois Department of Natural Resources.
Mayor David Lucas said he is frustrated because people are making statements without any facts to back them up. Lucas referenced an email which stated that dumping water into the Salt Fork would ruin the river's ecosystem.
Lucas said he asked the person for facts to back that up and they could not provide any.
"It's frustrating to listen to things that cannot be proven," he said. "Any decisions we make will be based on facts not emotion."