BOLIVAR (Tusco TV) - County officials are looking to add a few more acres to the Wilkshire Hills treatment site to protect public health and safety.

Commissioners on Monday authorized the Metropolitan Water and Sewer District to acquire just over four acres adjacent to the facility’s well site. Superintendent Mike Jones says the land is needed to meet EPA’s 300-foot isolation radius requirement. 

"If you put in a new source of water supply, for example, we’re replacing Well #2 which has essentially failed, the EPA is not going to allow us to put that well into operation and supply water into the system until we own that 300-foot area around that well," he explains.

The targeted land is part of a 35-acre vacant tract own by Chapel Hill Enterprises. Jones says the authorization from commissioners allows them to formally notify the company of their intent to acquire the property through any means necessary.

"The letter and notice is basically our formal notice to them that we need to enter into a good-faith negotiation to try to resolve something and then if for some reason we’re not able to negotiate upon a price for the purchase of the property, then the next step would be to file in court," he says.

The land has been appraised at just over $20,000. Jones says if they’re unable to negotiate a fair price, the county could acquire it through eminent domain as a last-resort option.