Cedar Key is open. Say it often.

Two years ago Cedar Key was holding its breath as the BP's Deepwater Horizon well spewed oil into the Gulf of Mexico and doomsayers fretted that a hurricane would blow the stuff our way.

It did not happen. The clam industry and the town's tourism industry were not touched by oil like the Panhandle beaches were. There were some effects as Florida seafood got a bad rap.

Cedar Key businesses have been gearing up for the usual July 4th perk in business. The city is not sponsoring fireworks, but business owners Cindy and Pat Bonish have stepped in to organize a holiday light show at the city park. They are seeking donations.

Fire Chief Robert Robinson and his crew were going to put up the flags and patriotic bunting again. He is asking residents and businesses to do the same. The chief also could use some donations for the decorations. He is also seeking names of those serving in the military for the honor roll of service.

Gas prices are dropping below $3.25 in the area and AAA out of Jacksonville says to expect about a 5 percent increase in Fourth of July trips away from home.

Then the insidious saltwater that provides a livelihood for the community crept in and messed up the wells that provide the water supply.

It's not the worst thing that could happen. But water is used in so many ways in our daily life.

The real inconvenience is not being able to turn on a tap and fill a glass or a pot for drinking and cooking. We now must turn to a bottle for our consumption.

Watching folks line up for their "two gallons per" the other day gave me deja vu. I remember the water and ice lines after Hurricanes Ivan, Dennis and Katrina.

The big difference is that these lines will not go away in a few weeks. The big worry is that our summer visitors will stay away.

The work on a solution begins Tuesday at 5 p.m. when the Cedar Key Water & Sewer Board meets at the community center to decide on short and long term solutions. 

They have stepped up to the plate in getting water to residents, visitors and businesses. The effort - along with county and state emergency management and other agencies - has been heroic. The plan to bring in water from the new Fowlers Bluff water plant is nothing short of serendipitous. A thank you is due to the neighboring community.

Let's also commend Nestle Waters for its contribution of 9,600 gallons of water for free. I think I'll carry a list of their brands on the electronic shopping list in my phone for a long time.

As for the worry about visitors - let's remember what happened two years ago and repeat it again. Send out the message:

We are open for business.

Say it every chance you can to the people you speak to elsewhere. Say it with a smile. Put it in emails to friends, put it in comments on web sites and Facebook.

Cedar Key is open for business.

And if people ask about the water, tell them you can shower and wash your clothes in the stuff that comes out of the tap.

And when it comes to drinking water, tell them we only serve the best — "the imported stuff."

We just don't have to say it's "Fowlers Bluff Fancy Blue."