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Boone Now in 'Two Front' Fight with Local Legislators PDF Print
Written by Steve Frank   
Saturday, 16 June 2012 06:10

With a fight underway in the State Senate over Senator Dan Soucek’s bill to end Boone’s ability to even have an extraterritorial jurisdiction, now from the State House, Jonathan Jordan has introduced a bill that would kill the New River water intake, now in the final planning stages.  Boone Mayor Loretta Clawson Friday issued a release asking citizens to act quickly to request withdrawal of House Bill 1227, which she says is designed to put the proposed water intake facility to a halt. If approved, the bill would stop the seven-year-long effort to ensure the town has water for Boone in the years to come. The “kill bill,” as she put it, was introduced Thursday by State Rep. Jonathan Jordan of Jefferson, whose District 93 includes Ashe and Watauga counties. Clawson said, “If this bill passes, we will not be able to satisfy the future water needs of the town, and the town is growing in population in large part due to the growth of Appalachian State University. It is because of this growth and projections for future needs as a major economic engine of the High Country that Boone seeks the reclassification of the New River as a public water supply.” The proposed water intake project has undergone scrutiny from both state and federal agencies, and the mayor said that the Environmental Management Commission unanimously approved the reclassification of the river on Jan. 12, and the state's Rules Review Commission signed off on the change in February. She said that the Rules Review Commission received 10 letters objecting to the reclassification of the section of the New River where the facility is proposed, but Jordan’s bill would trump all of that.
She continued, “We ask everyone to contact their local representatives, Senator Dan Soucek (919-733-5742 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ); Representative Jonathan Jordan (919-733-7727 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ); Speaker of the House Thom Tillis (919-733-3451 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ); or, Senator and President Pro Tem Phil Berger (919-733-5708 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it ) and ask them to withdrawal House Bill 1227.”
In 2008, Boone voters passed a referendum in support of this project. Since then, other agencies have committed more than $24.5 million in grants and secured loans. The U.S. Department of Agriculture granted $1.8 million for the project based on a 2004 water study. The grant will be supplemented by a $20 million USDA loan, $2.3 million from the Town of Boone and a $450,000 grant from the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center. The mayor summed up her comments, saying, “This would have an economic impact on the entire High Country.”

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