Possible Compromise Over Controversial Well in Frankford - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Possible Compromise Over Controversial Well in Frankford

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FRANKFORD, Del.- The town of Frankford says it is currently discussing a financial compromise with Mountaire Farms, after the poultry company split off from the town's water well last year. 

The town says Mountaire Farms offered to pay the town $1,000 a month over a 10-year period to help mitigate the financial impact caused by the company's withdrawal. The town says Mountaire Farms accounted for 33 percent of its water usage and subsequent revenue.

Frankford Councilman Marty Presley says the town countered Mountaire Farms' offer, asking for $3,000 a month, but that counteroffer was rejected. Presley says Frankford's lawyer has since written to Mountaire asking for clarification on its offer and what contingencies may exist.

"It's not over yet," Presley tells WBOC. "We probably won't hear back from them for a month or two. They obviously have to confer with their attorneys, but our proposal is out there."

Mountaire Farms did not respond to WBOC's request for comment by press time. As the town awaits Mountaire's response, Presley says the town is seeing progress on their settlement with DNREC. Presley says Frankford is set to receive $30,000 in grant money from the Delaware Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Control for a feasibility study into putting fluoride into the town's water. That study is the first step in achieving loan forgiveness from DNREC on the town's outstanding $450,000 debt on its water well. If the fluoride is put in place for 90 days, Presley says the town will get the loan forgiveness and permanently postpone a hearing on DNREC's decision to let Mountaire break away and build their own non-potable well.

The first hearing was set for Feb. 28, but was postponed as this settlement was reached, Presley says. 

Presley is optimistic the town will find a compromise with Mountaire Farms, as it did with DNREC.

"It's been going on now for a year with a lot of bad blood involved," he says. "I think Mountaire wants to work with us, and obviously we want to work with them, so I think we can reach some kind of agreement." 

For more background on this story, click here.

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