Town of Boone To Hold Special Meeting To Discuss Multiple Concerns About Water Intake System March 28

Published Friday, March 15, 2013 at 11:40 am

By Jesse Wood

March 15, 2013. The Town of Boone announced that a special meeting will take place on Thursday, March, 28, for the Water Use Committee to discuss multiple issues concerning the town’s proposed raw water intake system that was recently halted indefinitely by federal authorities

town-of-boone-logo2The committee – which is comprised of Boone Town Council members and others – hasn’t met since last summer when it met twice to discuss two legislative bills that would have effectively killed the intake system on the edges of Watauga County near Todd.

One of those two “kill bills” was SB 949, introduced by Sen. Dan Soucek, which would have stripped Boone of its ETJ powers, and the other was HB 1227, introduced by Rep. Jonathan Jordan, which would have stripped the classification of the South Fork of the New River needed for Boone to build its raw water intake system. 

After both bills died, Jordan and Soucek maintained that they were going to continue to battle the Town of Boone to prevent the 4-million-gallon-per-day raw water intake system from seeing the light of day. 


The meeting starts at 5 p.m., and the agenda is as follows: 

  • I. Call to Order.
  • II. Discussion of New Appointment to Conservation Sub Committee.
  • III. Discussion of Ordinance 11-01 Expiration
  • IV. Discussion of Anticipated Legislative Action Concerning Proposed New River Intake.
  • V. Discussion of Permit Status for Proposed New River Intake.
  • VI. Discussion of Actual Versus Predicted Water Usage Numbers. 
  • VII. Adjournment        

Members of the Water Use Committee 

  • Loretta Clawson
  • Andy Ball 
  • Rennie Brantz  
  • Jamie Leigh
  • Allan Scherlen
  • Lynne Mason 
  • Tom Purpur 
  • Kristan Cockerill 
  • Tim Wilson 
  • Patrick Beville 
  • Pam Williamson
  • VACANT 
  • George Santucci
  • Fred Badders 
  • Jim Buchanan
  • Joanna Weintraub

Minutes-Special Meeting of the Boone Town Council 
Water Use Committee 
June 4, 2012

A special meeting of the Boone Town Council was called to order at 5:00 p.m., Monday, June 4, 2012, in the Council Chambers, 1500 Blowing Rock Road. Mayor Loretta Clawson presided. Council Members present were: Mayor Pro-Tem Jamie Leigh, Lynne Mason, Alan Scherlen and Andy Ball. Members of the Water Use Committee Present were: Dr. Kristan Cockerill, Tom Purpur, Dr. Fred T. Badders, Dr. James Buchanan, Carol Coulter, Pam Williamson and Patrick Beville. Staff Members present were Greg Young- Town Manager, Rick Miller- Public Utilities Director, Bill Bailey- Planning and Inspections Director and Lane Weiss-Water Conservation Program Coordinator, Committee Secretary. Town Attorney Sam Furguiele was also in attendance.

Mayor Clawson called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance.

Discussion of Future Allocation of Water Outside the Town Limits

Mayor Clawson opened the meeting by stating that the meeting was in response to NC State
Senate bill S 949 that was introduced by State Senator Dan Soucek which seeks to eliminate the Town of Boone’s regulatory authority in the Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). The Mayor stated that a meeting of the Water Use Committee was necessary to addresses and discuss future water allocations outside of corporate limits. The Mayor then turned the meeting over to Public Utilities Director Rick Miller to clarify current ordinances as they apply to water allocations outside of the corporate limits. Mr. Miller went on to say that currently there are 375 water and sewer, water only and/or sewer only accounts outside of the corporate limits, 315 of these being in the ETJ. Committee Member Dr. Buchanan asked how the possible loss of regulatory authority in the ETJ would affect current or future water allocations, inquiring if it would lessen the Town’s responsibility to residents of the ETJ. The Mayor clarified that currently the Town
had zoning and land use regulatory authority in the ETJ, and that it was the preference of the Town Council to extend water and sewer into areas that were regulated. Planning and Inspections Director Bill Bailey commented that the biggest difference in the unincorporated county and the ETJ is the efficiency to provide services to areas. Council Member Lynne Mason added that the areas in the ETJ limits were typically within 1 mile of the corporate limits and have a greater impact on Town development. Council Member Mason also acknowledged that with no land use planning or zoning in place, storm water management would not be enforceable. Committee Member Dr. Kristan Cockerill also acknowledged the detrimental effects on water supplies that would take place without a centralized water and sewer system.

Town Attorney Sam Furguiele took a moment to explain that this bill, as proposed, has greater implications that just zoning and land use regulations, it would also strip Boone of the enforcement of building code regulations and possibly, the ability to perform fire inspections. Discussion then moved to current annexation laws and requirements, and how these laws could possibly affect the ETJ. Committee Member Williamson inquired as to the current status of the pending Raw Water Intake. Public Utilities Director Rick Miller explained that currently the Town’s request for reclassification to WS-IV was in the General Assembly awaiting final approval. Discussion then moved to the reason for the bill, Committee Member Cockerill asked if any committee members were aware of specific complaints that had come from ETJ residents.

A brief conversation ensued, reviewing what different committee members had heard in regards to complaints and/or issues from residents in the ETJ. Committee Member Buchanan inquired as to why and/or how this bill affects the Water-Use Committee. Public Utilities Director Rick Miller stated that per the agenda, the Water Use Committee was asked to discuss future water allocations into the ETJ. Town Attorney Sam Furguiele explained that currently Town Ordinance permits the extension of water and sewer outside Town limits, however to get approval for the water and/or sewer, residents must be in compliance with Town zoning and land use regulation (as well as others.) If SB 949, were to pass the Town would no longer have the regulating authority for these ordinances, or a reliable way to inspect. If that were the case then it would be difficult to incorporate land-use conditions into water and/or sewer request in the ETJ, Furguiele explained. The Mayor added that the Water Use Committee has always given good insight into matters concerning water, and was felt necessary to keep the Water Committee abreast of current situations, as well as gain input as to how to approach future water allocations in the ETJ. Council Member Mason then asked Planning and Inspections Director Bill Bailey if he was aware of any complaints. Mr. Bailey said that while he does receive complaints, they are typically one neighbor complaining about another violating the code. A lengthy discussion ensued concerning the wording of the bill and how exactly it would affect the Town’s current authority. 

After continued discussion, Committee Member Williamson made the following motion that the Water Committee recommend to Boone Town Council that should Senate bill 949 pass, that there will be an immediate suspension of all new water connections and/or extensions into areas outside corporate Town limits. Committee Member Dr. Buchanan seconded the motion.

Vote: Aye- 11 (K. Cockerill, L. Clawson, A. Ball, A. Schlerlen, F. Badders, P. Williamson, J. Leigh, L. Mason, T. Purpur, C. Coulter, J. Buchanan, )

Nay- 1 (P. Beville)

Committee Member Badders went on to make the following motion, that the Town of Boone Water Use Committee unanimously opposes Senate bill 949. Committee Member Williamson inquired if the following should be added “In light of the fact that this Committee has been meeting for 7 years in order to find a way to determine the need, and then fund that need and in a responsible fashion provide clean water for people in the Town’s Corporate limits as well as the
ETJ and to now have that work be negated , we unanimously oppose this bill”. The Committee agreed that this first motion was much simpler and Committee Member Williamson seconded this motion. 

Vote: Unanimous

Committee Member Williamson then made the motion to adjourn at 6:30. 


Minutes-Special Meeting of the Boone Town Council
Water Use Committee
July 10, 2012

A special meeting of the Boone Town Council was called to order at 5:30 p.m, Tuesday, July 10, 2012, in the Council Chambers, 1500 Blowing Rock Road. Mayor Loretta Clawson presided. Council Members present were: Mayor Pro-Tem Jamie Leigh, Lynne Mason, Alan Scherlen and Rennie Brantz. Members of the Water Use Committee Present were: Dr. Kristan Cockerill, Dr. Fred T. Badders, Dr. James Buchanan, Pam Williamson and Bunk Spann. Staff Members present were Greg Young- Town Manager, Rick Miller- Public Utilities Director, and Lane Weiss-Water Conservation Program Coordinator, Committee Secretary. Town Attorney Sam Furguiele was also in attendance.

Mayor Clawson called the meeting to order and welcomed all in attendance. 

Discussion of Water and Sewer Policy

Mayor Loretta Clawson stated that over the past month the Town had been in a limbo stage, referring to two bills that had been introduced in the NC Legislator, if passed these bills would have sought to take away the Town’s regulating authority in the ETJ, SB 929 and would have killed the Town’s new intake project, HB 1227. She continued that at the last meeting the
Committee decided to recommend to Town Council that if SB 929 were to pass that no water and/or sewer connections or extensions would be granted into the ETJ until the ramifications of the law were fully known. The recommendation was not sent to Town Council at the last meeting; at the time the recommendation was still unclear if either bill would pass the General Assembly. Mayor Clawson then informed the Committee that currently neither of the bills passed the General Assembly and thus discussion was unnecessary.

At 6:35 Committee member Williamson made a motion to adjourn.

 

 

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