Water service can be a scarce utility in north Osage County, especially in the Hickory Hills and Boulanger area, where they have no running water. Those residents are looking to change that with the help of the county commissioners.
“They are not being served?” Commissioner Jim Clark asked during the meeting.
“Not at all,” replied John Heskett, of Heskett & Heskett law firm in Bartlesville.
After landowners organized and signed several petitions, the commissioners approved dissolving Hickory Hills Water District No. 21, near Boulanger, and allowing portions of the Birch Creek Rural Water District to withdraw and form a new rural water district together.
Almost all of the landowners have signed the petitions, about 98 percent, Heskett estimated.
Although Hickory Hills has a rural water district, there is no infrastructure in place.
Most of the residents depend on pond or well water. Others transport water in bulk from larger cities, like Sedan, Kan.
“We haul our water. We are about the only place in the state that doesn’t have some sort of system,” Tag Batdorf, of Boulanger, told the commissioners last May.
The county commissioners approved the dissolving and withdrawal during Monday’s meeting. A public hearing was set for Sept. 17.
Last May the commissioners looked into a feasibility study for water options in the same Hickory Hills and Boulanger area.
No name has been decided for the potentially new district, Haskett said, although they will probably just go with a number. Choosing a name that didn’t exclude any one community could be tricky Haskett added. “They didn’t want to get into a tiff between Boulanger and Hickory Hills.”