- Written by Steve Frank
About 50 area citizens gathered last night, mostly to stand in opposition to the Town of Boones water project from the New River in Todd. There were a number of speakers, but the main points were made by Frank Packard, a concerned resident who has researched the project and has his own take on studies done by the Town of Boone to justify the request and where he thinks the figures tell another story. Packard pointed out that the studies on the Boone water situation are now a decade old, and that projections for hitting 80 and 90 percent of capacity by 2009 were not reached. He also pointed out conflicting population estimates, the town projecting a doubling of population over the next 50 years, while a Local Water Supply Plan actually shows a slightly smaller local population than now. The speakers told of adverse affects on farming, tourism, and river recreation in constructing the intake and the 4 million gallons of water per day that would be permitted. The proposed site borders Ashe and Watauga, but with some part of the access crossing into Asheand Ashe Commissioners requiring that it not cross into their countythe town of Boone has had to find a new path. Other impacts of the project include potential condemnation of part of the Cooper Farm and land along Brownwood Road from Railroad Grade Road to Highway 421. Boone continues to move forward with the project, so the group is gearing up and fundraising for their opposition to it.