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Threatening Letter Sent to Homer Village Brd. Trustee

HOMER-- an anonymous threat could be to blame for one village board member voting no to sell water to Sunrise Coal.

The Homer Village Board met on Monday and rejected selling water to Sunrise Coal.

A vote that surprised many, because just recently, a straw poll of members showed a yes vote made by Mike Johnson.

Just last month, Johnson received a letter, essentially trying to blackmail him. 

Authorities say it was sent from Ogden, and at this time, they don't know who sent it.

The letter reads quote:

"We do know that you have some unsavory history in your income matters that would be in your best interests if it was not reported to the proper authorities. Perhaps you should consider this information in placing your vote! Please be assured that that information will be passed along, hould you chose to vote 'for' the sale of our precious water to these people."

-Signed "Concerned Citizens."

Johnson is currently a senior partner in an investment group and real estate business.

We spoke with Johnson earlier today, who said he has nothing to hide, and it the letter had nothing to do with his vote.

We asked him why he voted yes in the straw poll, and his response said quote:

"I was under the impression, the straw poll was regarding whether trustees wanted both attorneys to review the language and re-present the contract."

"I voted yes, because I wanted a finished contract to give my vote."

Even though Homer won't provide water to Sunrise Coal, they say that's not stopping them.

Here's a statement we received from the coal company:

"The Bulldog Mine project will proceed according to plan, but using other alternatives for water resource. It would have been a win-win for the village and the residents of Homer, they would have gotten 1 point 3 million in water infrastructure upgrades at no cost."

They went on to say, it was unfortunate that through out the process, special interest groups used quote -- "Scare tactics about the water supply."

Sunrise wouldn't disclose what their "plan b" is, but they did reassure us, that they have one.

Since Sunrise Coal will not be the next big water customer for the Village of Homer, the mayor said they'll have to look at raising water rates to make up for the current deficit.

ABC Newschannel 15's Marine Glisovic reports.