Carlisle schools once explored selling aquifer water to fund district

Years before Carlisle Schools tried the current strategy of selling bonds to residents to raise money for schools, they considered selling bottled water.

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And not just any bottled water, but the fresh, healthy fluids of the Great Miami Aquifer below the Warren County school system’s surface.

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School district officials hosted a bond investment seminar Monday for community members interested in investing or purchasing bonds that will be sold for the district’s upcoming new building construction project.

The school system has three, 75-feet deep wells tapping into the giant underground water source that stretches from West Central Ohio down to the Ohio River.

The aquifer’s water, which is pumped to the surface and used by businesses, farms and is even bottled and sold by the city of Hamilton, is estimated to supply about 360,000 residents in Butler and Warren counties and northern Hamilton County.

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The meeting Monday at Carlisle High School was hosted by Superintendent Larry Hook.

In May, district voters approved a 6.2-mill, $20 million bond issue to build a new single K-12 building that will include the demolition of the four buildings that are on the school campus.

But in 2012 district officials asked the Ohio Attorney General’s office if they could legally bottle the aquifer’s award-winning water and sell it for a profit to help offset school district operating and facility costs.

Dan Bassler, treasurer for Carlisle Schools, recently told the Journal-News the bottled water profit idea quickly evaporated.

State law does not allow non-profits such as schools, to profit from selling water, he said.

“Because of that we have not moved forward in any way or shape or form of bottling the water or selling it,” said Bassler.

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