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Watauga Commission Takes Forced Action PDF Print
Written by Gary Childers   
Wednesday, 20 February 2013 07:25

“Figures can’t lie but liars can figure,” that from an obviously frustrated Commissioner David Blust, while Perry Yates said, “I don’t like being caught between the town that I feel like is violating private property rights out there—I don’t like being caught in that at all—and then the state saying, ‘you have to do something.’  I don’t like this feeling at all.” The matter would have the County to be fined $10,000 if they didn’t vote in favor of something they were not yet ready to support.  During last night’s meeting county planning Director, Joe Furman, explained that due to FEMA requirements local governments are required to approve land classification changes that have already been approved by the state for water projects and furthermore that if they do not approve the changes a fine of $10,000 per month can be issued.  This information came prior to a public hearing on the reclassification of a portion of the South Fork New River watershed to a W-4 rating. The hearing was scheduled to allow the public to provide feedback to the Commissioners about changing the classification of this land which must be done for Boone to be allowed to access water from the river. During the public hearing, at which four people spoke in opposition to the change in classification, Mr. Frank Packard’s comments and information challenging the accuracy of Boone’s projected water needs caused the most conversation among the Commissioners, “I’ve analyzed Boone’s local water supply plan for the last four years…and I am firmly convinced that there are less intrusive, more viable alternatives to providing the future water needs that Boone has than this current intake proposal.”   Leading the charge to determine if the Commissioners had other options Mr. Blust and Mr. Yates asked Mr. Furman and county attorney, Four Eggers, if they had any other recourse. It was explained that they had no other options at this time, but since the Town of Boone’s original application for water intake from the South Fork of the New River had expired the Town was going to have file another application. Due to that, the change in classification of the watershed area could be revisited at a later time when new requests pertaining to the application were being generated. After hearing this Mr.Yates moved to approve the change in classification with the stipulation that it be revisited in the future. The motion passed by a 4 to 1 vote with Mr. Blust voting against it.



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