Water shed: County's anti-dredge insert decried in Council

news-water-nixpalmerLiz Palmer and Jim Nix routinely scold Council for seeking dredging options.
PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

Albemarle County's latest salvo in its war on dredging–- an info sheet purporting to dispassionately explain the community water supply plan–- has outraged members of City Council, including mayor Dave Norris who blasted the sheet as loaded with "misinformation" during Council's October 18 meeting.

"Have you no shame?" intoned citizen Richard Statman, recalling the famous query that brought down U.S. Senator Joseph McCarthy during the 1950s "red scare." Statman and other speakers pointed to questionable assertions in the document, which County spokesperson Lee Catlin revealed last week would arrive with personal property tax bills at Albemarle households.

Among the insert's contentions is that building a massive new reservoir system–- despite felling over 50,000 trees in the Ragged Mountain Natural Area–- would be more environmentally friendly and cost-effective than dredging the existing Rivanna Reservoir. Moreover, the insert alleges that the plan–- which requires a pipeline of unknown cost and path–– can be accomplished with no increase in water bills.

Engineer/builder Bob Fenwick, who unsuccessfully ran for City Council last fall on his interest in dredging, expressed shock that anyone could assert that a plan widely believed to cost over $200 million would not spike water bills, which have already more than doubled over the past decade with no increase in water storage capacity.

"Who then will bear this enormous cost?" asked Fenwick. "The concept that you could build a public works project of this magnitude and not raise water bills is absurd and disrespectful to the community."

The leaders of the anti-dredging faction also had their say. City resident Jim Nix, a Democratic Party leader, suggested that dredging can be a necessary component of a long-term water plan as long as it doesn't get in the way of the currently favorable construction bidding climate. And in a pre-meeting interview with the Hook, County Supervisor Duane Snow endorsed the County's position, saying that he had once supported dredging but became convinced that it wouldn't supply sufficient water. And he supports the insert.

"I think it's time we start countering all the misinformation that's being circulated," says Snow. "It's kind of like whack-a-mole."

Snow contends that City officials are pursuing a "disingenuous" agenda to control growth and defends the dam/pipeline plan as the way to ensure that county growth remains in the urban ring instead of getting pushed out into the rural areas.

"We made a conscious decision to protect our rural areas and focus development around the city," says Snow. "And that's going to take water."

However, the County's missive seems to have enraged even those who have been pushing for compromise. City Councilor Kristin Szakos, for instance, has fired off an email to her County counterparts, obtained by NBC29, calling the insert an "end run" around the process. "Please don't risk losing the entire plan," she warned the Supervisors.

–-updated 9am Tuesday with quotes from Fenwick and Snow

Read more on: dredging

61 comments

The rich will just pop wells and the rest of you can just @#$! off.

Cville eye you're so cute when you think that eminent domain is a very simple concept related to laws about cats and dogs. It's kind of endearing. Repeating that you believe about 15% of my argument doesn't apply in your opinion is a fantastic way to avoid any of the rest of the discussion. There was other parts of the code relating to eminent domain that had nothing to do with Hydro electric power.

Don't give it another thought, I'm sure you've got it right.

I don't understand you don't understand that law written for hydroelectric power production do not necessarily apply to facilities used to produce potable water, just like laws requiring that dogs need to be on a lease when on publics do not apply to cats. Very simple concepts. Producing electricity and producing drinkable are not similar activities except that water is used and dogs and cats are both mammals.

In many cases you can treat dogs like cats if you are a vet and doing many surgeries, removing fleas and ticks, and in what type of drinking water you can give them. If you treat them with kindness they can be loyal companions. But of course they aren't exactly the same but being a fine dog owner can help you in becoming an equally fine cat owner. You just have to pay attention to the differences.

Thanks for asking

However, the law treats them differently and that's what we're talking about, legalities.

Of course you never mention the law about cats and dogs when you asked your question. The problem with you analogy is if you mistreat a cat or a dog the penalaties are just the same- there is no difference in the law.

The differences in the water case is the county can let the RWSA dissolve and then it eminent domains the reservoir in the county and just compensates the city for the land. What part of that concept confuses you. The law treats Albemarle differently then the Charlottesville because of where the reservoir is located.

I sure no matter what I write you won't like but it or think it has merit. It is easier to argue when you already made up your mind and haven't done any research. Keeps facts and precedents from slowing you down.

boo boo I don't think the City is in real trouble because the County decides to take it to court. The City is not only not denying anyone water, they are trying to take care of the actual assets that exist, and have been neglected. The County sounds like it just having a tantrum because their plan is simply not that good, and is not about providing water for the current population. it really to me sounds more like the County wants to seize the City's assets.

If they try ED, then they are effectively proving that they just want to seize assets.

I think for me, the biggest beef is that anyone would give a bunch of money to a group of folks who have proven that they are incapable of maintaining the assets they have.Namely the RWSA. It is inexcusable that the Rivanna has filled up so much. They should all be fired and a new evenly balanced group brought in to replace them.

@Caesonia, and the neglect of the city's facilities occurred while Gary O'Connell, who served as the city's representative to RWSA, watched. He is now Executive Director of the Albemarle County Service Authority that is charged with the procurement of water for the county. Something is VERY smelly here. I think some of the primaries in this disagreement stand to make some big bucks.

@boo boo, "Assume that a section heading of code has no information that might be applied to a similar situation." Does that mean I can treat dogs like cats?

They'd be smart to sign on to the city resolution ASAP because it will provide more water for their future growth, as someone said, than the outdated, factually inaccurate 2006 concept for a dam and pipeline. And it will cost far less. The 2006 permit was never a plan - no cost share agreement was ever signed.

Old timer & Cville Eye keep believing you got it right and don't read or begin to see that the city is in real trouble "IF" the county tried to take this to court. Assume that a section heading of code has no information that might be applied to a similar situation. With that attitude you half way to becoming a city councilor.

All I've ever said is that Albemarle has a good case and presented to the court correctly has real merit IMHO. If you don't agree that fine perhaps the BOS will ignore it all any way.

If Taylortown is your example, is it an incorporated city in Virginia or a town subordinate to a Virginia county?

@boo boo, the first section of 62.1-98 (Right of eminent domain of public service corporations) that I quoted above says that it applies to public services "for the production, sale and supply of hydroelectric power and energy" and not for potable water so I didn't read the rest of it. It doesn't apply to RWSA. You are not a lawyer and you obviously have little experience at reading State code.

"I believe that Charlottesville might be treated as just the property owner and not a jurisdiction."

Except that the very argument you have tried - pubiic uses- is exactly why and how Charlottesville uses that property. It is hardly just a private property owner. The idea that

See, the problem with you unhappy fellow County Dwellers is that you want to have your cake and eat it. It seems to me that it comes down to little more than " I don't the City can seize the County's assets - Annexation - but I should be able to seize the City's assets - waterworks.

Sorry the County didn't start planning for growth 30 years ago when the stopped annexation, but that's not the City's fault.

The City Council has approved a water plan that provides MORE WATER than the county plan . What is the problem ? What court would object to that. bb you are woefully uninformed, as I'm afraid the Board of Supervisors are, as well.

Please explain your reasons smallbusiness- eminent domain won't be trump by an approved plan just deferred or abandoned. Influenced possible but that, again, is for a court to decide if a suit were brought.

Oh Cville Eye it's not all of it(Right of eminent domain of public service corporations is the part you should pay attention to) go find an L1 to help you. And I provided a quite germane example but don't research it. You seem to do quite well without facts or precedents all on your own.

The interesting part will be the Charlottesville ownership of the reservoir in Albemarle (an area it does not govern). I believe that Charlottesville might be treated as just the property owner and not a jurisdiction. That would make eminent domain far easier to exercise. It could be argued in others ways to be sure and it would be for the court to decide. The rancor and lack of agreement to approve a water supply plan might make the court more favorable to Albemarle pleadings in this case.

I not saying that any of this is a slam dunk but it is quite easy to see how eminent domain is allowable in this case.

"n addition to any right or power of eminent domain that it may have under existing law, every public service corporation engaged in the development of waterpower in this Commonwealth for the production, sale and supply of hydroelectric power and energy to the public shall be vested with the right of eminent domain to the full extent requisite for the acquisition of all lands, property and rights necessary for the purpose of the construction, enlargement, maintenance or operation of any dam, reservoir, power station and/or other structures of any such water-power development, subject to the following provisions:"
When did RWSA start producing hydroelectric power?

Did you provide an example of it's use? I don't plan to research it.

What some people don't seem to understnd is that eminent domain requires payment. The county would much rather pay for the water works over several decades rather than come up with the money now. Does the city want to use eminent domain to gain posession over the county office building and the county courts? Maybe the county can spend millions of dollars moving its county seat to Scottsville or Crozet. Don't waste your time threatening people. It sounds silly. Maybe the next time Neil Williamson is on the Coy Barefoot show he will discuss his idea publicly. Many people would be interested since many feel that the county is trying to take over the water works as cheaply as possible. It might just add credence.

It's time for Albemarle to end the madness and protect Albemarle ratepayers from Charlottesville dictating terms in this debate.

Neil Williamson has got the right idea http://bit.ly/9Ckue8
that idea is eminent domain. It will end the debate and let Albemarle do what it needs to protect it's citizens critical water supply from "water experts" like Betty Mooney.

Regardless of what is best for the future of Cville, letting the resorvoir detoriate is indefensible.

@Narrow Focus and out of touch, "...common sense of city management...?"

I pay $54 a month for water & sewer only for a house I have in Peterstown WVa where I use no water & sewer. And for the last year I have had most months no useage as I haven't been out there. They have a minumum charge. (Red Sulphur Public Service District). I could turn the water completely off but I'm out there occasionally. Now in C-ville the gas bill comes with water & sewer but I'm surprised to find that Charlottesville is considered as having one of the highest water/sewer bills in the state of Virginia (for its size).

boo boo,

Eminent Domain is a lot harder in this state since the Virginia Constituion was modified to stop just the sort of tactics being used by the County right now to force the City into giving up its' assets for the County's desire to do a lot of urban development.

The City a ,long time purchased and planned for the water use of it's urban development. The County didn't pay for anything. Now, suddenly, the County wants to dictate to CHarlottesville just what it should with it's own assets, to accomodate NOT the City, but for the benfit of the COUNTY. The City isn;t using more water.

How convenient that ratepayers are paying so much money to let the RWSA neglect the City's assets. Sounds fishy to me. My daughter's water in the City is disgusting these days. Didn't used to be. Now she might as well be drinking right out of the Rivanna. It would cost her less.

The RWSA deserves to be fired, and the County needs to figure out how it's going to pay for the infrastructure it needs on its own. If it can't do it on it's own, then I guess it has a problem, doesn't it? I live on a well, and I live in that reality.

@boo boo, This why the city shouldn't b elong to the local Chamber of Commerce. It is an advocacy group as shown by its involvement in this election cycle.

It's the same as if the city gave money to IMPACT.

NArrow Focus,

I can always smell a right wing hack whenever the term 'elite' comes out to describe another political agenda that is inconvenient to their wishes. Look up the term and figure out what it means for once.

No one on City Council is an elite. I can say the same for the BOS.

The City handing over public assets to private concerns is not socialism, its called fascism. Look that word up too. I laugh every time the City Council is referred to as a bunch of leftists. There is nothing left about what they do, beyond their catering to low income housing.

The BOS is even more worthless these days, in that it lives in the silly world of pretending you can lower taxes and build things that cost multi-millions. The County should have thought about that when they decided they wanted the County to look like a City.

-- "the agreement for RWSA is set to expire in 2012 and the county fears RWSA will be dissolved as it should be."

It's not about liberal vs. conservative. If your neighbor engaged in activity like annexing (invading) its neighbors, demanding payment not to invade, not honoring agreements (list too long to list here), if this was your neighbor, you wouldn't care what label they wear-- you would just the on the content of their character.

The RWSA agreement continues past 2012 unless city or county gives 2-year notice to dissolve. The county should build a reservoir in the county and dump sewage in the Rivanna upstream from Rivanna dam as was the case before RWSA was formed.

-- "Eminent Domain is a lot harder in this state since the Virginia Constituion was modified"

When was the modification? in 2007 the state reformed eminent domain by statute. Some folks want a Constitutional Amendment to make people follow laws they don't have to follow now. Why would they follow the Constitution if they can ignore regular laws with impunity?

The RWSA has an eminent domain felony in its record: Buck Mountain Reservoir. Of course the city has hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of eminent domain felonies on its books.

Old timer, while you might be right about eminent domain in general, you are completely wrong when it involves a municipal water supply. Albemarle can absolutely use eminent domain in this case and the city's current action are making a prima facie case for it.

The more the city tries to change the already approved plan, the easier they will make it for Albemarle to prove the necessity of using eminent domain.

The City Council is an odd mix of self-serving elites, "sensitive" progressives, and head-in-the-ground-politicians. It seems that their goal is to take their power and usurp the common sense of city management in favor of whimsical causes destined to protect the privileged few in their socialistic society.

Previous mandate means only that they have the opportunity to proudly stand and afront our republic. As long as we do not disagree with the politburo, they will see to it that our basic needs are met. Disagree and...

Time for the County to do it on their own and leave the city behind in many areas. One day the denizens of the city will wake up and realize they got exactly what they wanted. A dead city that no one want to live in.

"The county should build a reservoir in the county and dump sewage in the Rivanna upstream from Rivanna dam as was the case before RWSA was formed."

So, now you suggest criminal actions in your anger at being denied the right to do to others what you want to do to them. The County wanted to limit the City's growth, now suddenly theya re upset that the City might limit their sprawl development by not over building their assets.

"you are completely wrong when it involves a municipal water supply. Albemarle can absolutely use eminent domain in this case and the city’s current action are making a prima facie case for it."

I think not. The County has been complicit in not taking care of the current water supply, and now they want to build elsewhere to cut the Rivanna off from another resevior. Why the City or even County residents like myself should pay significantly higher water rates to gratify the kind of people who want to build biscuit runs is EXACTLY what the State Consitution is about.

There is not a lack of water, there is only the neglect of current property. Seizing the City's assets simply because you don't like their way of resolving a problem efficiently is not prima facie evidence, it is a bully selfishness tactic that is the trademark of the County.

The COunty should go off and build it's own infrastructure, and while theya re at it, start providing jobs for it's people outside of the City.

There is no approved plan . There is only a permit to withdraw water, that must be modified anyway, now that the RWSA has thrown out their new concrete dam design and is paying millions for a new earthern dam design.

There was a 2002 approved plan -sign, sealed, and delivered by both the county and the city which included dredging the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir- where is that plan ?

BB,, maybe you better read this: State has no record of water plan

http://www.readthehook.com/stories/2008/05/29/NEWS-CitizensFindNoWaterPl...

@boo boo, when did you get a law degree or are you writing novel? Can you come up with one example in Virginia where a county exercised eminent domain against a city over a water supply?@TJ, the antidredgers are known to repeatedly twist the truth.
@thoughts, yes, the agreement continues indefinitely until the notice is given. That is why I have repeatedly said here in this paper and else where the city should serve notice, dissolve the agreement and sell the county water as it does UVA."The county should build a reservoir in the county and dump sewage in the Rivanna upstream from Rivanna dam as was the case before RWSA was formed." But the antidredgers have said that the government agencies will not let them build because John Martin claims he and others saw a James spinymussel underneath a bridge and it is endangered. Of course there is no documentation of this, just his word. They would have us believe that they would not be able to get a permit.

Before you all whip out your mail order law degrees everyone should take a minute to read about Taylorstown and the Catoctin Creek(and why it's precedent doesn't apply in this case)along with 2010 Virginia Code Title 1 - GENERAL PROVISIONS. Chapter 2.1 - Common Law and Rules of Construction (1-200 thru 1-257)1-219.1 - Limitations on eminent domain and 62.1-98 - Right of eminent domain of public service corporations. I made them easy to google.

The problem with Cville Eye's idea is the reservoir land isn't in the city but the county. The fact that eminent domain would occur in Albemarle exercised by Albemarle trumps CE's idea. There are issues to be resolved for sure but the law currently appears to be on the county's side if they were inclined to follow this nuclear option

The city better pray that Albemarle doesn't engage certain lawyers who could make this eminent domain case far more easily the I can.

Current water prices around here aren't going to attract any high water users, especially when they see that those prices will double in the next decade if the county dam/pipeline plan is implemented. Already we have one of the highest rates in the state.

This huge government project and expenditure is anti-business and anti-free enterprise.

I suspect that many of the proponents have either invested in property they would like to see developed or they have invested in some water intensive business that would like to move here but have not yet announced their intentions. BTW, kwhat ever happened to that development that was to be built in the southwest quadrant of the intersection of Old Lynchburg Road and I-64? Is that Stoner's project? Has the approval for it expired?

Cville Eye,

It is my opinion that the County owned RWSA has been deliberately trying to destroy the city's assets so they can justify pulling a stunt like they are trying right now. Then, once they destory the City assets and " help pay" for the new assets, they can have even a greater wedge to push the City around and use the city to subsidize developer activity especially on the south side of town.

I mean, lets face it: Most of the folks moving to Albemarle aren't doing it for rural county living, because there isn't much here outside of Charlottesville and UVA. If they really were attracted to County living, they would be in Louisa, Nelson, or Fluvanna. But that's not so nice and convenient to where??? Charlottesville and the hospitals and downtown culture.

Hey, I get really POd at City Council, but I resent the County telling me I have to pay more taxes to subsidize urban development around Charlottesville.

My understanding is that lack of water is all that is keeping those areas along 20 South from being developed into lots of houses. A bigger water plan sure does make that possible, now doesn't it?

Seeing as the City is being put under tremendous pressure by the growth - as in its citizens not only subsidizing it, but being expected to drive out through it - along with the rest of the State's travelers - they have every right to try and slow the process when it's their assets on the line.

Here's what it comes down to:

If you live in the County, you shouldn't expect, desire, or want urban growth, now should you? You are the county right? Isn't urban growth what cities are all about?

City employees got "employee appreciation payments" in December.
http://www.nbc29.com/story/11840493/city-employees-get-bonuses?

The City got outmaneuvered on the Eastern Connector and now the county wants to dump all the traffic onto one road 250Bypass. I hope the City has learned their lesson - time to play hardball. This is the major leagues now, and the county threw the softball away a long time ago.

I lready have read the county's mess and that's why I would like to have RWSA dissolved. I don't do business with those I do not ust. They have been stockpiling money from the city and county rate payers since the drougt to the tune of $30M and that's what they are planning to use on the new dam. Our rates won't go up for that BECAUSE WE HAVE ALREAD PAID!

@Betty Mooney, why can't the county buy its water from the city as UVa does?

Will the county be paying for the new pipeline since it said it is willing to pay for growth and the city doesn't need it?

re: Snow working to keep development the urban ring. Doesn't look that way...
http://cvillenews.com/2010/10/17/bos-shifts-growth-accommodation/#comments

Pretty clear that the people who are planning projects like that are the ones really calling the shots when it comes to county water planning.

@CvilleEye: The fact is the City doesn't need the water and yes, the City could sell the water to the County and to UVA. Given the hundreds of millions of dollars invested in these city owned assets, it would be foolish to let them deteriorate or be destroyed without compensation.

The City needs an audit of what these assets are worth. When the county says they will pay for the water plan you will also read in their fact sheet, that they say that 70% of the water plan is maintenance, and they do not intend to foot that bill alone. Read the fine print

"The real reason the county is pushing so hard to start building it now (at it’s own expense - will it be paying for the pipeline too?) is because the agreement for RWSA is set to expire in 2012 and the county fears RWSA will be dissolved as it should be. The anti-dredgers tell whoppers."

Yes, they do. And if I were on City COuncil right now, I would use that to ratchet down do hard on the County for it's stunt over the agreement to limit city growth, yet burden the City with their growth, it would make their heads spin off.

You gotta love how Snow sits there saying that they are working to keep development in the Urban ring - ie where folks want to live because its convenient to the City - not in the County itself. InOW, lets make the County look like the City, and a Charlotteville address, but let's try and take away the money from the City for that, and then expect the City to pay for our water.

I think not.

I'd let the board dissolve and throw Gary O'Connell onto the street where he belongs, do the dredging, and jack the rates up on all those County residents living in the Urban ring, unless they want to become a part of the City and start paying City tax rates. They have Charlotteville addresses, they can start paying taxes like they live in Charlottesville.

Speaking of inaccuracies...when did City workers get a raise in the last 3 years?

We do need regional co-operation, but taking on debt for a water system that can only be paid for by rate increases should not be done lightly. Doubling or tripling water rates and hook-up fees would place serious economic stress on our citizens, businesses and discourage economic development in our community. We already have some of the highest water rates for a community our size in the state.

To say we can spend over $200 million dollars on new infrastructure, without raising rates is not honest. When calculating the cost one must add in the interest payments on the debt over the life of the plan.

If there is a better plan, that does less environmental damage to our forests, preserves our reservoirs, saves money, gives us abundant water for decades, and the flexibility to have more when needed, we should pursue that plan. That is the City Plan and it is a sustainable, commonsense, affordable approach for our water supply.

This is only a plan there is no water crisis. If the officials are worried about an imminent need for more water- the best solution is to dredge, monitor our falling water use, and determine in 30 years if there is a need for more expenditure. To take on debt now, and interest payments for something we won't need in the next 50 years is fiscally irresponsible. One would hope both liberals and conservatives could agree on this.

After the last drought in 2002 the state required all localities in Virginia to comply with a new state law and file a water plan with the DEQ. Our plan is due in November 2011, next year, and that data is what should guide planning for the next 50 years not outdated information.

Our water authority is well aware of these requirements, but has refused to compile the information to date. Responsible leaders would insist that the staff complete this requirement.

Here is what is required for the State approved water plan:

Local and Regional Water Supply Planning Requirements

The regulation details the information to be included in a region's/locality's water supply plan, including:

Existing Water Source Information
Existing Water Use Information;
Existing Resource Information
Water Demand Management, or current conservation practices;
Drought Response and Contingency Plans
Projected Water Demand Information
Statement of Need based on the adequacy of existing water sources to meet current and projected water demand over the planning period (a minimum of 30 years to a maximum of 50 years).
The program was designed as a statewide partnership, localities having the lead role in identifying their future demands and the state providing technical support and oversight.

http://www.deq.state.va.us/watersupplyplanning/

It does appear criminal that the existing reservoir was not maintained better. Before the recent rain the state of the reservoir became quite clear (at least the part you can see from the Earlysville Road bridge). I lived in the area back in the early 2000 era when the drought was so bad and I remember seeing how low the reservoir was but I don't remember seeing any land appear in the reservoir like it did this time.

As I have read about this issue and listened to radio interviews it seems the motivation for not dredging is that dredging will not provide sufficient water for the growth expected. I can accept that but it seems the reservoir should still be maintained. If it fills with silt it won't even be of any use for recreation.

I'll admit ignorance and stay clear of the best practice arguments.

However I drove Saturday on the section of the Meadowcreek Parkway that now serves as the middle Rio detour. It's a nice road and it's beautifully integrated into the landscape. And it's needed whether you like autos and traffic or not. Which made me think about all the squawking and foot-dragging done by the city and some of those in it. The county has made it happen, and there's a much-needed road in place for use. Now we must wait for the city portion to be completed.

Is there an analogue here? As green and liberal as my own leanings are, I have a suspicion that city leaders are maybe just not quite grounded in the pragmatic.

max brando: "This is just another lie by Democrats."

One rogue, who has obviously been paid off, is a member of a national organization. His membership is not justification for defaming the entire organization.
I don't disparage the entire Republican party because of Sarah, Sharon, Joe, and the witch.

How DARE the county communicate with county residents in this fashion!! Who do they think they are!??! This is definitely an "end run" around the city council. Skazos is right!

From now on, all mailings from the county gov't should be vetted by the city council to make sure they agree with everything the mailing says.

I think Dave Norris isn't going to take this lying down. He's right to be outraged and SHOULD be "blasting" this mailing until the cows come home!

And I think the writer of this piece is being kind. Everybody knows that any "questionable assertion" made by the county is demonstrably false! I mean, come on!

This is just another lie by Democrats. Dishonesty. And from the home of Mssrs. Jefferson, MAdison, Monroe. I am ashamed of them. The Democrats need to go from this city council.

We have great leaders in this City and County. If you like to be led in circle. Between parkways and water somebody grow a pair, make a decision, put your name on it, and stick by it. Man, with the money and time we waste.....When it comes to sister city crap, a raise for city workers, or "pet" projects...those seem to be on the fast track. Time to make a HARD decision, or make room for someone who can, I have sat through decades if this,
NO MORE

Will the real conservatives please stand. Guess this time that would be the city council; only elected officials who seem to care what this will cost.

The county led water authority has spent over $12 million trying to design a new dam at Ragged Mt., and, on Oct 21st will allocate another $900,000 to this fools errand -without one additional drop of water to show for this total waste of ratepayer dollars.

Is there any way to sue the officials for not maintaining our reservoir, and letting it fill with silt all these years, while at the same time spending millions to prevent us from maintaining it ?
The board of this water authority and it's director are to blame for millions of gallons of lost water capacity, while doubling our water rates to pay consultants for a dam we don't even need.

Who would allow this negligence to continue ?

Ax Yo mama,

So because a road is beautifully landscaped it's OK to have taken away someone's park? Why, so a bunch of people from the County can commute in to work? What's wrong? Doesn't the County provide enough jobs? I thought the county was so business friendly?

The Meadowcreek parkway is stupid. I say that as a County resident. We need an eastern bypass. That will gore the ox of some wealthy county residents though, because it will have to cut through their farmland. Better to make city residents give up their park.

I mean the City is supposed to provide jobs, roads, bus service, and even water now for County residents. Maybe if they just cut the County off they could lower their own tax rates.

@surly and old, have you been drinking? Nothing you have said makes any sense.
@meanwhile..., yes the BoS has every right to mislead its constituents and the city ought to stay out of it.
@carter"Time to make a HARD decision, or make room for someone who can, I have sat through decades if this,
NO MORE" Actualy, it isn't. The county doesn't plan to build the pipeline to fill the dam for another ten years (I'll bet you didn't know that did you? If now is the time, we would be building the concrete dam starting last November that the county wanted which we would have had to tear down since the county wants an earthen dam.
It's a shame that some people think every issue is Democrat/Republican. That's a pretty shallow way of looking at an engineering problem.
Why on earth should we spend the next twenty years paying of dollars for something we will not need until fifty years from now. Just to "Git 'er done?" The real reason the county is pushing so hard to start building it now (at it's own expense - will it be paying for the pipeline too?) is because the agreement for RWSA is set to expire in 2012 and the county fears RWSA will be dissolved as it should be. The anti-dredgers tell whoppers.

2002 was the year of the really bad drought but I too
was surprised this year at how low the reservoir was.
Following the US drought monitor map which is updated
weekly our region was only ever in a moderate drought
this year mostly "agricultural" versus "hydrological."
North of here was way worse. I wonder about the growth
projections now with a poor economy. Also Albemarle
County is very expensive--maybe growth has peaked
at least for a time.

Yes, it appears that the growth will be between Zion Xroads and Short Pump and also between Crozet and Staunton. Both areas have a lower cost of living and cheaper land.