He said a community well might not be an option because the supply of groundwater is already a problem in the area, where wells are said to have run dry.
County Councilman Bryan T. McIntire, a Republican whose district includes Jacksonville, opposes extending public water. But he noted another issue with creating a community well: "Suppose it gets contaminated. Then, you're all fouled."
Claud Gamble, a Jacksonville native whose office is next to the Exxon station, said he was surprised to hear how many people -- even older folks, maybe because they've been through droughts -- are considering public water as a solution.
But he and others also said they worry that a public water system or a community well will take years to complete.
"If they do a community well, it will take years," Gamble said. "If they run water out here, that's political and it will take even longer. Somebody's got to step up to the plate and start looking at a long-range plan and at the stop-gap measures.
"I think we're in the panic phase," he said. "It's time to get to the next step -- what is the future of this town?"