By Jesse Wood
July 29, 2014. New River Advocates, a incorporated nonprofit that opposes the Town of Boone’s water intake project along the South Fork of the New River near Todd, will hold a community meeting to update concerned citizens on, what it describes as, “the Boone water grab.”
The meeting takes place Riverside Restaurant, located at 7181 Railroad Grade Rd. in Todd, on Tuesday, July 29, at 6 p.m.
A release from the organization states that the history and reasons for the growing opposition to this “ill-conceived project” will be outlined in detail – in addition to recent developments that may affect the progression of the intake project.
A proposed plan of action will be presented by Frank Packard and Deborah Greene, and comments and discussion from the public are encouraged. Both Packard and Greene have been outspoken critics of the intake project since its inception several years ago.
In 2008, town voters approved a $25-million bond referendum for a new intake system, garnering 73 percent support for the project. And two years later, the Boone Town Council accepted a $20.5-million loan from the USDA to finance the project. Since then, the town has already spent at least $2 million on the project for property, consulting and engineering fees – and if the project were to be completed, that completion date is still years away.
“Everything from costs and location of land condemnations, flood plain effects, watershed designations and implications for land owners rights, state and local water use ordinances, environmental concerns, assessments and jurisdictions, competing zoning jurisdictions, just to name a few have been poorly examined, and in some cases have been ignored or hidden from view of those with the most to lose,” states a New River Advocates release announcing the meeting. “We plan to change that. There is still time. When the full range of negative impact of this water intake project is revealed to all the diverse constituencies in our community, we believe a majority of sensible people will reject it.”
For more information about New River Advocates, click to the organization’s website, where relevant documents to the project are being compiled.
Contact the organization at [email protected].