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By JENNIFER RAYMOND
A heated discussion over water or lack thereof erupted at the Kingston City Council meeting Tuesday night.
Swan Pond Road residents asked the council for help in getting them pressurized water.
Weve been trying to get water for over 20 years, said Randy Ellis, who was representing his 85-year-old grandmother.
City manager Jim Pinkerton said some residents are able to access the city's gravity line but do not get the pressure they need.
Others who have newer homes are not allowed to access the gravity line because of a new state rule.
Pinkerton said the state deems it illegal to hook to a gravity line if it cant provide at least 20 pounds per square inch of pressure. Kingstons gravity line in the area is below that.
That didnt phase some.
There are five or six with no water at all, Ellis said.
Residents of the area have been trying to figure who to come to for help because they say they are told different things about which water district they are in.
It has historically been an issue of who can service the area, Pinkerton said.
County Executive Mike Farmer called a meeting with the city of Kingston, Roane County, Roane Central Utility District and Harriman Utility Board recently.
At the meeting, the possibility of Roane Central providing water to those residents was discussed.
Currently, residents with water pay the Kingston Water Department.
There are 16 customers who generate about $6,500 a year, Pinkerton said.
Kingston would need to turn over those customers to allow Roane Central to service the area.
Councilman Brant Williams said he wanted more concrete figures and information on the subject.
Ellis said he didnt want officials to drag out the issue.
We've been fighting long enough, Ellis said.
A personal comment was made toward Williams by an audience member who felt he was against the idea.
Williams fired back with a comment about people being foolish enough to buy a house without water access.
I don't want an argument with anyone, resident Phyllis Ellis said, and things quieted back down.
I wasn't aware that you had to carry water, Councilwoman Teresa Ferguson said.
I don't want anyone to have to carry water, she added.
Council members agreed to put the matter on the agenda and possible vote for the Aug. 12 meeting.