By Rosemary Pollock
Amid Saginaw Well Complaints, LDS Church Reaches Out to Neighbors
SAGINAW, MICHIGAN -- A ruling by Michigan Circuit Judge William Crane
last week, against two Saginaw County farms owned by Walther Farms
and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, prompted
representatives from the Church to visit 26 nearby homes. The court
charged that the two farms must pay $4,000 each for water storage
tanks to the 22 families that lie within a half-mile of the
irrigation wells, a distance the court concluded that shows a
connection between irrigation and the resident's problems.
The Saginaw County Department of Public Health reported 68 property
owners lost water pressure within a 1 1/2 mile distance of both
irrigation well operations, while others within a half-mile area have
no problems with their wells.
"We have not turned our backs on those in need," said Midland Stake
President, O. David Rogers. "The Church has voluntarily reached out
to its waterless neighbors within a mile of the farm's irrigation
wells, visiting 26 homes, replacing wells at two, and making offers
to 12 other families." Some property owners have claimed that their
wells are old and they do not blame the Church.
The Merrill Michigan Corps Farm, is one of 73 agricultural operations
that the Church owns worldwide along with a cannery in Farmington
Hills, Michigan. Walther Farms manages more than 1,100 acres and
tends a $1.8 million crop.
Mormon-run farm tries outreach in water dispute
Detroit MI Free Press (AP) 27Aug01 B1
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