Eight firms want to show us how to dredge

Eight firms responded by the June 17 deadline to compete for the contract to provide a major how-to guide on dredging the silt-packed Rivanna Reservoir, according to Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority. The firms include Gahagan & Bryant, the company that Charlottesville mayor Dave Norris invited to give a presentation over a year ago. After that, however, dredging stalled as Albemarle County interests created a task force packed with dredging opponents such as Albemarle County supervisor Sally Thomas and Albemarle County Service Authority board member John Martin, who continues to claim, despite falling water demand, that building a mega-reservoir along Interstate 64 is inevitable. The other firms seeking the contract are Anchor QEA, Apex Companies, Dalton, Olmstead & Fuglevand, F. X. Browne, HDR Engineering, PBS & J, and S. T. Hudson Engineers. A nine-member committee, packed with dam proponents such as Judy Mueller and the executive directors of the area's two board-controlled waterworks, Tom Frederick and Gary Fern, will make a decision at a time of its own choosing.

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The last really bad drought wasn't ten years ago, it was 2005. Nevertheless the point that nothing - absolutely nothing - has been done to alleviate the potential disaster on the horizon.

That 8 firms want to try to get the dredging job seems to be a sign that it's do-able, and that it isn't going to cost as much as originally presented by the pro-dam/anti-conservation/anti-common sense crowd.

Now it's up to the elected leaders to step up to the plate and be accountable. If the appointed "powers that be" continue to stonewall and ignore all options that don't involves spending a gazillion dollars on our very own pipeline to nowhere, replace them. Don't wait, don't be unclear. Fire them and appoint people who are not already firmly pro-dam/anti-conservation/anti-common sense. If you don't, sooner or later we're going to replace you. Period. Hopefully, before it's too late. That, however, is up to you.

Hear, hear, Music Lover. Strip the bacon from the swine at all costs.

RWSA Board Meeting this Thursday at 1pm, open to the public with public comment taken at 1pm

Location: Albemarle County Services Authority
168 Spotnap Rd
(434) 977-4511
Get directions

Until the dredging survey is complete we are calling on the public to ask that no new money be spent on trying to re-design the new Ragged Mt. Dam. Rather any allocation of our funds as rate-payers needs to be spent on investigating the cost and feasibility of repairing the current dam at Ragged Mt. and the cost of the proposed new pipeline from South Fork Rivanna Reservoir to Ragged Mt. It is foolish to spend any more on the new dam if the pipeline to fill it is not feasible. The allocated amount of 25K is pennies compared to what has been spent investigating the cost of the dam and should be increased if not enough for a thorough investigation of cost and feasibility.

As I sip and savour a peppery Portuguese vinho verde, and this being my third sip, my views have taken on a profundity and prescience, and I offer these observations:

1. No drought likely in this sopping wet summer, but the last one nearly shut down the city. That was almost ten years ago. In ten years we have not built one--not ONE more drop, of water storage capacity. Every thunderstorm a month's supply of water runs off into the gutter. Pretty soon we better pick a plan, and just do it.

2. There are such fantastic sums of money, millions and millions, getting flung around for transparently wrong consulting reports, one begins to wonder. One wonders whether politicians are getting money secretly stuffed in their back pockets by consulting companies. How can anybody support something so obviously wrong? Unless the money talks.

A bottle of vinho verde to the first person who can explain the real reason why people like Thomas are still supporting a dam after the numbers have been exploded as bogus. Of course, as I am drinking it now, it might be an empty bottle.

Dude ”Š you will need something stronger than a vinho verde to divine the intentions of Frederick the Great and his merry minions. After a few self-righteous tokes of Western Albemarle cannabis verde, its obvious man!

1. A big a*s dam and a big monster water pipe would be freakin awesome! Think of all the power its going to take to run that sucker! All those rt 29 developer wanksters who think they’re hot sh*t because they can cut down a few acres of trees and build a big box store, they aint got nothing on Sally Thomas! Can they build a big a*s dam and not pay a dime out of their own pocket? H**l No! Ole Leonard Sandridge may have got a road named after him, but can he lay a giant nine mile pipe right smack across the most over-built area of the County? Don’t think so. Even VDOT will have to bow before the awesomeness of the dam.

2. You can put a plaque on a dam. And since this is Rivanna, you can bet its going to be a big ole solid gold sucker, maybe with some bedazzling jewels that will gleam in the sun and make little rainbows. And it will have the names of all the True Players engraved in it. Thomas, Frederick, Oconnell, Tucker and Gaffney. All the other wankster developers in town will weep when they see it. I don’t care how much money you save (mainly because I’m on a well). Can you put a plaque on dredging? No! Can you put a plaque on conservation? No! You all are just playa haters.

3. Um, I forgot what number 3 was. But it was really, really cool

Now if you will excuse me, I’m going to borrow my mom’s car so I can drive to the mall and panhandle for enough change for a cheap Chardonnay and then go pass out at Lee Park and dream about how cool that dam is gonna be. I’ll be sleeping next to the statue if you want to drop that vinho verde off.

Bet they'll try every trick in the book to delay this as long as possible. Hope City Council backs up the Mayor's firm stance--no construction at Ragged Mt.--at the last Council meeting he said "not one tree cut" until these surveys are complete. We need to know the facts of the cost of dredging for the water supply instead of the bogus/overblown estimate the dam building company Gannett Fleming, who got the dam design contract and was paid over 5 million in consulting fees , gave us ---

The whole composition of RWSA and RSWA needs to be re-constitued along with the replacement of our non-servants of the public.