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Schilling blasts water project, O’Connell’s ‘fiefdom’

by Hawes Spencer
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6/8 update: Gary O’Connell responds with a Saturday morning email (the Hook reporter was in North Carolina at the time, so that’s why it’s getting posted Sunday noonish). O’Connell calls the process “transparent from concept to completion” and asks that the entirety of his statement be posted, and so it is (see below).

9pm, 6/6 update: We still haven’t heard from Gary O’Connell, but we have heard a differing view from former Councilor Blake Caravati who asserts, via a comment below, that his former Council-mates oppose the water project because they have “hidden agendas.” Also, we now have audio for of the Schilling show, also below, for those who just can’t get enough.
Just three days after the mayor won two concessions for critics of the community’s controversial $143 million proposed water project, new fire erupted as ex-City Councilor Rob Schilling blasted a key city official today for allegedly withholding information and running a “fiefdom.”

“The information given to Council by the City Manager,” Schilling told a local radio audience, “was filtered or shaped to promote a certain point of view or direction that was desired by staff or the City Manager.”

With Schilling’s announcement, all three recently-departed City Councilors who stepped down in January are now claiming they were provided misleading information about the local water situation by City Mananger Gary O’Connell, who also sits on the waterworks and airport boards. Republican Schilling, now a radio talk show host on WINA-AM 1070, joins Democrats Kevin Lynch and Kendra Hamilton— both of whom were his radio guests today— in asserting that they’ve been duped.

“My greatest concern is for the ratepayer,” Schilling said, “and I don’t believe the ratepayer is well served by the current plan or the current process.”

As the Hook has reported, the water supply proposal— which features a mammoth reservoir fed by a 9.5-mile pipeline— was based largely on the assertion that dredging the existing Rivanna Reservoir might cost over $223 million, an amount larger than a recent contract to dredge the Pacific entrance of the Panama Canal. In fact, private contractors and other experts interviewed by the Hook have presented estimates ranging from $24-$30 million.

Before Mayor Dave Norris interceded with amendments demanding fresh explorations of dredging and conservation, O’Connell had attempted to push a business-as-usual endorsement of the official water proposal through City Council on Monday, June 2. The situation prompted Councilor Holly Edwards to suggest that Charlottesville’s council-manager form of government may need revision.

O’Connell was not immediately available for comment.

Schilling’s complete statement:

I realize there are agendas held by those on both sides of this issue, beyond obtaining the least costly water supply in the least environmentally damaging way (those who want to control growth by limiting water; those whose primary concern is for the Moorman’s River over the residents of the community and over the Rivanna River; those, who for economic reasons, just want to see “something” done).

There were often times in my Council service when the answers coming back from staff, through the City Manager (who always insisted that questions be submitted through him, rather than being asked directly of staff) were less than satisfactory. In many cases I had to ask the same question over and over again.

For the majority of my Council term, I felt (and was certainly warned by others) that the information given to Council by the City Manager was filtered or shaped to promote a certain point of view or direction that was desired by staff or the City Manager.

In other words, unless I phrased a question in a very specific way, I may have received in return something less than the “whole truth.” For me, getting complete information became a frustrating effort in futility.

In my opinion, the City Manager, who for a time fancied calling himself “the CEO of Charlottesville,” is running a fiefdom at City Hall and has been for a long time, and independent-thinking city councilors are considered temporary “impediments” to be navigated around.

Although I asked many, many questions about the water supply plan before casting my vote in support, I do not believe that I was provided complete information in response to my questions. Additionally, over the years from 2002-2006, the answers often changed, and often drastically, without a thorough explanation.

Since I have not conducted the research that Mr. Lynch and Ms. Hamilton have regarding water supply alternatives, I do not necessarily endorse the alternate plan as being “the” right plan. However, if I were casting my vote now, with the information as it is being presented today, I would not likely vote for the existing plan. That is not to say that I would not do so ultimately, but I believe there are enough questions outstanding to withhold my support presently.

My greatest concern is for the ratepayer, and I don’t believe the ratepayer is well served by the current plan or the current process.

Gary O’Connell’s Saturday, June 7 email: Creating a safe, reliable, and abundant water supply is probably one of the most important processes a community will ever go through. I am confident that our process was open and inclusive from the time we first began to tackle this critical challenge in 2002. Two unanimous votes on City Council have now affirmed our community’s water supply plan. This important process was transparent from concept to completion, with many opportunities for public input all along the way, including a number of recent discussions. I take that responsibility as the City Manager very seriously, and so has the City Council, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, the Albemarle County Service Authority and the Rivanna Board.

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  • Eric June 6th, 2008 | 7:19 am

    City Council voted to move forward with the (already adopted) water supply plan, with the caveat of investigating dredging. Their endorsement of the existing plan was a significant outcome of Monday’s meeting.

  • TheSaneOne June 6th, 2008 | 8:04 am

    Does the town not want a reliable, safe and available water sources for the next 50 years? Try visiting communities that weren’t smart enough to figure it out beforehand before complaining. This is all personality conflicts which really isn’t news, every body that I know of has voted this through, they can’t all be wrong. Let’s let it go and move onto more important matters like traffic and drugs.

  • getoverit June 6th, 2008 | 9:39 am

    C’mon folks. Did you see Rich Collins and Kevin Lynch snort and Mr. Collins stomp out of the room as council Monday voted unanimously to approve the already approved plan? And now, the Engineers corps approved the permit, as has the state, in spite of Mr. Collins’ attempts to intervene and block Charlottesvillians future access to drinking water through back door meetings and phone calls to agencies. Who’s the tool here - Mr. Spencer and his pen for Mr. Collins and Mr. Lynch? or is it the other way around? Or are they all taking the community for an egomaniacal ride? Let’s move on.

  • James June 6th, 2008 | 9:57 am

    The three former council members referenced in this posting all voted for the water plan. They now say that they did not have all of the information. As a citizen that has followed the C’ville City Council I have an extremely difficult time accepting the fact that these three were not completely aware and suspicious at the time of their vote. Mr. Lynch and Mr. Schilling were constant critics of the city’s staff. If Mr. Lynch wanted to be a watchdog he should not have given up his place on the council.

    This situation reeks of former elected officials longing for the spotlight, and trying to stir up controversy so their names can stay in the paper.

    Let’s move on and address the real issues facing our community.

  • Cville Eye June 6th, 2008 | 11:59 am

    Of course the current council endorsed Overrun O’Connell’s non-plan. Mr. Huja and Mr. Taliaferro will do nothing to jeodardize their fabulous retirement package guarding by their benefactor, Overrun O’Connell. Mr. Taliaferro will do nothing to jeopardize the support he’s receiving from Overrun O’Connell for the massive expansion of his old fire department. Mrs. Edwards and Ambassador Norris suffered a $700,000 decline in their low-income housing funding from Overrun O’Connell and know he can reduce it further, jeopardizing their wish to construct 60 fabulous apartments for the homeless. And David Brown has always said that council should not second-guess the city staff.
    I am thankful that the three former councilors have come out publicly to expose the operations of the city staff that fly directly in the face of a democratically-run city manager form of local government (the city manager managers staff; council manages policy and allocates the necessary funding). I wish the reporter had included the story Kevin Lynch told on the show about the memo Overrun O’Connell sent to the staff at RWSA to ignore council’s request last November to investigate dredging. It seems that this kind of dealigns is perfectly all right to Eric, TheSaneOne and James and serve to discredit their words of solidarity.

  • James June 6th, 2008 | 12:31 pm

    No one ever said that an employee going against the word of his employer was acceptable. The point you seem to be unwilling to accept is that all three of these former officials voted for the plan. Further, Mr. Lynch and Ms. Hamilton chose not to run for re-election and only now have decided to speak out against this plan. Members of council have a duty to speak out and none of these folks fulfilled that duty.

  • Water Lover June 6th, 2008 | 12:36 pm

    Does anyone care about the rate payers? Half the county is on wells and won’t pay a dime. Several Supervisors represent citizens primarily on wells so will feel no pressure to care about the cost of the $100million dam/pipeline with 100%cost overrun bringing it to a possible $200 million and the consultants say all these estimates are abased on assumptions. The consultants have gotten over 5 million dollars in consulting and dam design fees from the rate payers. As Dan Bieker said in his recent letter to the Daily Progress ” We’re about to get hosed”

    Why would anyone block a second opinion about dredging given that the only estimate has come from a company that does no dredging, builds dams and pipelines, and was hired to implement the 2002 plan to dredge and put a bladder on the South Fork. That plan was thrown out and now we we’re looking at all new infrastructure instead of maintaing what we have and a possible bill of $200million based on one estimate. And we’re using less water than ever before but our water bills are going up and will double or triple if the officials don’t get all the information about the true costs of the RWSA new dam and new uphill pipeline.

  • bradyscott June 6th, 2008 | 12:52 pm

    Q. Water Lover said: “Does anyone care about the rate payers?”

    A. Schilling said: “My greatest concern is for the ratepayer, and I don’t believe the ratepayer is well served by the current plan or the current process.”

  • Cville Eye June 6th, 2008 | 2:58 pm

    James, Schilling said he did not have the current information available to him in 2006 when he lost re-election to council. Hamilton and Lynch said they asked for an investigation into dredging in November while they were still on council because they did not have that information in 2006. Overrun O’Connell then emailed the staff at RWSA indicating they were to ignore the request because Lynch would not be on council a month later. It sounds as though you are faulting them for not knowing there was information out there that they didn’t know existed because the trusted the word of the obviously duplicitous Overrun O’Connell. During the show, each former councilor said that it might be a good idea that councilors in the future have their own employee dedicated to researching the issues for the councilors, so that council would not be so totally dependent upon the word of city staff. Personally, if councilors were more receptive to input from the knowledgeable public, such as those people who weighed in on the new city’s web site disaster, council may start receiving high caliber info. You know, make Charlottesville more closely resembling an actual democracy.

  • Water Lover June 6th, 2008 | 3:19 pm

    Cville Eye, Thank you for your honesty and your knowledge of the way our local government works. I hope the officials are reading this

  • Kendra Hamilton June 6th, 2008 | 5:36 pm

    Correction to the record, folks. On June 5, 2006, I was not present for the now-notorious vote on the water plan. I was in Charleston, SC, working on an interdisciplinary art/community project (ironically, on water) for the Spoleto Festival.

    This is not to say that I did not support the Ragged Mountain alternative at that time. It had, after all, been presented as the only choice.

    Recall that in 2006 we had only recently fought off a plan to pipe the James that, among other issues, was estimated to cost an unacceptably high $80 or $90 million dollars–before we even fixed the dam. (Around $150 million total.) Even if drinking James water hadn’t given me the willies, the pricetag induced a dizzying case of sticker shock.

    But then year later, in Sept 2007, when price figures were mentioned for the Ragged Mountain alternative for the first time, it turned out that it was every bit expensive–around $142 million.

    It was then that dredging edged its way back into the discussion-at an estimated $100 million, it sounded like a relative bargain. It was also then that the price estimates on dredging started to rise again–to $200 and then $225 million.

    Kevin had heard anecdotally that those figure might have been inflated. (The amount of the inflation, established recently, came as quite a surprise.) Hence, the discussion in Nov. 2007 in which four of five councilors asked for an investigation–in the name of potentially reducing the cost of the project.

    (What I pay has doubled since 2002 without any capital improvements to the system. Can you afford rate hikes that would be in the range of 5-10% a year for the foreseeable future? Well you’re doing a helluva lot better than me–not to mention the nearly one-third of Rivanna customers who are on fixed or low incomes).

    That direction was completely ignored by the person who had the power to move it forward or bury it. When Kevin read the text of that email from the city manager on the air yesterday–sent THE DAY AFTER THE COUNCIL MEETING–I can only say I was profoundly shocked. I trusted Gary–I had the highest regard for him. I could never have imagined that kind of behavior from him… Never…

    … I guess that’s why we have FOIA laws.

  • Charlotte June 6th, 2008 | 5:41 pm

    Eric is correct. What the above article fails to mention is that Council voted unanimously to support the current water plan.

    Thesaneone and getoverit are also correct. it’s time to stop the name calling and second guessing. Everybody agrees that an analysis of dredging is necessary, but let’s get on with the plan.

    Our forefathers supplied us with enough water, now it’s our turn to act for the future.

  • Blake Caravati June 6th, 2008 | 6:18 pm

    I write to respond to my good friend Rob Schilling’s latest diatribe about the Water Supply plan. Unfortunately, Mr. Schilling still seems to be stuck repeating the same off key tune about “not having enough information”. The water plan discussion during Mr. Schilling’s abbreviated tenure occurred in 11 public meetings, which unfortunately Mr. Schilling and Ms. Hamilton deemed it unnecessary to attend any of the community discussions. Additionally, the information given to Council by the RSWA, City staff, and the County measures approximately 7 ” in height and is exhaustively detailed and clearly illustrates the complex issues of the efficient provision of water for the future. But height is not the determinant of knowledge. One must read and understand the documents in order to make an appropriate wise decision on behalf of the community. The majority of Councilors (2002 until today) including Schilling, Lynch, and Hamilton, apparently either did not read and understand the information or were satisfied with the information enough to vote on behalf of the public, aye. Something is missing here, now these august former electeds, and your paper are crying fowl and saying they were duped. The great majority of the public and Councilors during this period do not feel that way at all, to say nothing about DEQ, the US Army Corps of engineers, the Va. Forest Service, the US Department of Interior, and many other professional experts both public and private. They all also supported the plan and voted aye.

    I have recently reviewed the information that Council and the citizens viewed and compared it to what the current dissenters of the plan have said and printed (no FOIA necessary, all of it is readily available). The clear and unequivocal conclusion is no one was duped in the past, the duping is going on now by Lynch, Hamilton, and Schilling. In plain words, the current campaign against the plan, under the false guise of protecting the rate payer and the environment is disingenuous. The very sad polemic employed by these dissenters of attacking professional staff, and by inference the public and other Councilors, with personal invective is beyond the pale. It is easy to do sure, make a villain out of someone that cannot respond ( staff )by calling them dishonest, manipulative or heaven forbid “a golfer”. What it really shows is that the these dissenters have very little that is genuine to add to the discussion of a really important public policy.

    The greatest thing about our community, the best City in the USA, is that we have serious, intelligent, and participating citizens that are very dedicated to a proper process in discussing and formulating public policy and providing for the future. This has been the tradition in Charllotesville for 232 years. Now is not the time , never is the time, to change this tradition. Just the facts Ma’am - not manipulation of the facts, not falsehoods, not personal agendas, not personal attacks, not a complete disregard for the future. Fortunately, the great majority of our citizens have not bought into the crying balderdash. The plan is not only good but addresses and allows continued refinement to make it better. Let us hope the hidden personal agendas of the dissenters can be tamed and brought back to a serious discussion of a public policy that will effect the next two generations. But alas, I am afraid the cat is out of the bag and will refuse to help our community move forward with the decorum that we all deserve and make a better future for all of us. More to come on this issue from this author I am sure.

  • Cville Eye June 6th, 2008 | 6:52 pm

    Mr. Caravati is being Mr. Caravati, grandly wordy with no substance. Does he dare say that the $225M price tag for dredging was in the 7 inch documents? If he admits it, then does he explain the current proposals for $25 - $35M? Of course not. And he never will. Having observed Mr. Caravati for years, I doubt seriously if he read the 7-inch documents any more thoroughly than he read the annunal budget proposals. He always struck me as the person who came to the council meetings without much preparation and hoped that he could figure out what was going on through the others’ discussion. I suspect he feels it necessary to side with staff to keep them from inspecting his slummy properties where tenants are constantly going in and out of jail.

  • colfer June 6th, 2008 | 6:58 pm

    I think you can see some of the attitude that got us into this mess. And factually, former mayor Caravati does not mention the FOIA’ed email from O’Connell to RWSA.

    I am open to both sides on this issue, but I am yet to be convinced that pumping water uphill when it originates in the mountains makes much sense. Dredging of course also involves pumping, and in its worst case, miles of trucking, but any unbiased study of the relative energy costs could not come out of RWSA or its past consultants, that much should be clear to everyone. I’d guess costs for either proposal would go way up if barrels of oil continue to get more expensive (assuming it is not a bubble, but something more like peak oil). I’d also guess dredging to the nearby quarry is relatively efficient, but that is just a guess.

    I’ll stick to my suspicion that this is Mormons private landholders and fishing clubs vs. publicly accessible land downstream from the Rivanna dam. Accessed by the same people who play softball probably!

    Lynch and Hamilton’s posts speak for themselves. Invoking Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, does not by itself make one open-minded.

  • colfer June 6th, 2008 | 7:03 pm

    Ahhp, no Thomas Jefferson was mentioned, my mistake. How about this: “Invoking 232 years of democratic local tradition does not in itself make one its open-minded participant.”

  • Cville Eye June 6th, 2008 | 7:09 pm

    No Jefferson, colfer. That’s why I didn’t call that hot air a political stump speech. I agree with you however.

  • Sam June 6th, 2008 | 8:03 pm

    Blake- Thank you for your voice of reason and sanity.

  • Practical June 6th, 2008 | 8:13 pm

    I agree with Mr. Schilling that the Water Supply Plan should not be anti-growth or solely about the Moorman’s River. Neither the anti-growth proponents, the Nature Conservancy or the Piedmont Environmental Council have the rate payers as their first priority. They are the ones will have to pay for whatever infrastructure is built. There clearly needs to be increased water capacity and money for maintaining the water supply system, because Charlottesville will grow. A balanced approach would seem to be
    1. Maintain the infrastructure we have meaning: keep the Reservoirs and Dams currently owned by the City in good repair and see how much increased water capacity can be gained while doing that
    2. Gather accurate population projections for the next 50 years which both PEC and the opponents seem to agree has not been done by the current consultants
    3. Gather accurate projections for the amount of water that will be needed in the next 50 years based on more realistic conservation data taking into account the decreasing amount of water being used in the urban system even though the population is increasing. Both the opponents and Nature Conservancy and PEC agree that the consultants demand projections are inflated
    4. Once the accurate population, demand and conservation numbers are obtained determine how much increased water capacity can be gained by maintaining our present Reservoirs and if this is inadequate look at other less costly ways of increasing water supply first such as Beaver Creek, Chris Green or Lake Albemarle before embarking on a costly expenditure for New Infrastructure

    The elected officials who are responsible to the rate payers need all the information before burdening their citizens unnecessarily. At the present it seems there is still important information to be gathered and that is something everyone seems to agree upon.

  • Cville Eye June 6th, 2008 | 8:24 pm

    Your name should be Very Practical.

  • Blair Hawkins June 6th, 2008 | 11:45 pm

    Of course I have a perspective.
    “Ex-Councilors oppose their own plan” June 5, 2008. Should be corrected that Hamilton abstained from the June 5, 2006 vote.

  • TheSaneOne June 7th, 2008 | 12:22 pm

    Thank you Mr. Caravati, sanity in an unfair and unbalanced discussion. This is about personalities and agendas and honorable people are getting raked over the coals because of a group of folks with huge chips on their shoulders and a means to publish their rants.

  • Water Lover June 7th, 2008 | 12:45 pm

    I wish this were just about personalities. Unfortunately there are much larger issues of sustainability and governance that Mr. Lynch and Schilling and Ms Hamilton and the Hook have had the courage to bring into the open. Now there is a campaign that often occurs when difficult truths come to light to kill the messenger. I hope the “majority of the public” that Mr. Caravati references will demand accountability and access to correct information about maintaining and restoring our reservoirs by dredging before spending hundreds of millions of dollars of public money with only one estimate from the dam building consultants who told us dredging would cost between $200- $223 million and have already been paid over $5 million in consulting fees and to design the New Dam .

  • Cville Eye June 7th, 2008 | 2:24 pm

    And, Water Lover, it is an even deeper issue of who actually will govern Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville - the government-picked “citizen representatives” or the tax payers and rate payers. Yes, we have a representative form of government, but, who is being represented?
    Currently, in addition to the $400M that will be eventually spent on our water supply, we have a park plan that has not been vetted by the general public, a Mall plan that is not being vetted by the general public, a housing plan that has not been vetted by the general public and a transportation/transit plan that also is not being vetted by the general public.
    It’s too bad that our local governments and their agencies can issue hundreds of millions of dollars in bonds without a public referendum. I’m sure the voters would speak their minds clearly.
    I know there are a lot of public employees who find my posts threatening because they rely upon a sleeping public for their annual raises, pay-for-performance bonuses and market-rate adjustment pay plans and probably email Overrun O’Connell copies of their posts to make sure that they get fatter pay checks. But, I think it is a rare occasion when our public servants are now referred to by even a large minority of the general public as “honorable.” What was honorable about Overrun’s memo to the staff at RWSA to ignore the wishes of his employer, City Council, without telling Council he intended to do so?
    Water Lover, we have grave problems with governance in these parts.

  • County Farmer June 8th, 2008 | 9:00 am

    Instead of offering your repetitive rant and raves why don’t you and the other obsessed complainers of this forum offer candidates to replace these liberals whose only goal in life is money and power. Their heros are the Clintons who have shown that politics is the way to fame and fortune for those with little talent otherwise.

    I can’t fathom why the majority of supposedly intelligent Virginian’s support and vote in these tax and spend liberals who have created their power base from those with a sense of entitlement.

    Public referendum is the method by which we the public can place revenue and budget restraints on these out of control legislators and force them to spend wihin reason like the rest of us. This has worked well in Florida with regard to real estate tax increases. All we have to do is start a grass roots effort to obtain enough signatures( and votes ) to force a constitutional amendment.

    ” Who is John Galt “

  • Practical June 8th, 2008 | 9:40 am

    On my walk this morning I noticed a small river running down the side of my street emanating from underground. At last week’s public hearing on the water rates it was reported by the City Public Works Dept. that we loose 15% of our water due to leaks in the system. Just think, we could gain an immediate increased water supply by simply repairing the aging infrastructure in the City and I’m sure the County also has this problem. Repair and Conservation could mean lots more water for the rate-payers at far less cost. Shouldn’t that be our first priority? Our Water Authority (RWSA) doubled our water rates in 2003 and now it was reported that they have $30million in the bank and plan to double the rates again for a New dam and New Pipeline. Let’s immediately get our elected officals to spend our money being held by RWSA to repair our water system first before building yet more new infrastructure that will also break down and need repairs.
    Unlike some of the writers I do believe our City and County officials are listening to this issue and if you would like to have an impact on the cost of living in Charlottesville and the principle of Sustainability it is worth contacting them at

  • Water Lover June 8th, 2008 | 10:07 am

    Practical you’re absolutely right and that’s what Mr. Lynch, Schilling and Ms. Hamilton are saying, first look at the cost of dredging our Reservoirs which is a maintenance issue before spending upwards of $100-200 million dollars on New Infrastructure.

    The current reports are dredging costs between $21-35 million not the $223 million estimated by the consultants who specialize in dams and pipelines not dredging. This could save the ratepayers tens of millions of dollars !!!

  • noah June 9th, 2008 | 9:10 pm

    You people have all been DUPED. Big money corporations will get there way because they bought lots of grease. Ask yourself why people are fighting so hard to STOP a second opinion.

    Would you be so happy to get on with an execution if the DNA evidence was sitting in a test tube ready to prove or disprove the guilt?

    They could have gotten 5 estimates in the time they have been fighting doing so.

    Wonder why…..

    Someone with 4 Aces is happy to lay down his cards…..

  • Cville Eye June 11th, 2008 | 9:31 pm

    Sanity said:

    “RWSA held 11 public hearings, which included information on dredging, piping the water from the james and other dam alternatives at the start. Mr. Lynch chose to ignore those hearings.”

    According to Mr. Caravati, all of that information was provided to council in a 7″ document before council was asked to vote.Sanity said:

    “Revising histroy does not make the complainers correct…RWSA has NEVER opposed the possibility of maintanance dredging.”

    Isn’t ignoring dredging tantamount to opposing it?Sanity said:

    “Finally, if Mr. Lynch was to busy or to tired to attend the public hearings before voting, then I would submit that he did not do the job he was elected to do and the taxpayers paid him to do and owes us a refund.”

    Neither the BoS nor CC regularly attend public meetings of the RWSA, RSWA, CRHA or the Jail Authority. There are only so many hours in a week. To ask them to do more would border upon InSanity.

  • Tired of Governmental Tricks June 11th, 2008 | 9:50 pm

    The biggest mistake made was not pushing through the construction of the Buck Mountain Creek reservoir when the land was first purchased before the James River Spiny Mussel appeared. Or maybe they should have looked for the mussel before wasting money on all that land. It seems the RWSA is is good about wasting money. I wonder what their water bills are each month?

  • Sanity June 11th, 2008 | 11:38 pm

    It appears that anyone not well known who is not opposed to the dam has there comments removed, but since cville eye commented on a small part of them, I will try again. I would agree that ignoring dregding would be equivalent to opposing, but RWSA did not ignore it either. They attempted to get a permit to do it during the drought, included it in the possible water plan actions and paid for a study of costs. As I pointed out in the parts of my missive not qouted by cville eye, the cost estimates coming from the anti-dam camp are quickly approaching those of Rivanna’s consultant. Every time the anti-dam people are asked to justify thier numbers, those numbers turn out to have either left out costs, or assummed that many things would be free.

    Mr. Lynch claims council was lied to and that they had no chance to truly question the information provided. Those 11 public meetings all had q and a sessions. That 7 inches of information supplied to council included responces to questions from council (apprently none from Kevin)

  • hawes June 12th, 2008 | 1:09 pm

    Actually, no comments have been removed from this post, Sanity. The Hook welcomes comments from all sides of every issue.–Hawes Spencer, Hook Editor

  • hawes June 13th, 2008 | 12:01 pm

    No, wait– you’re absolutely right, Sanity. I’m sorry. I can’t explain how it happened, but your post was obviously here, as somebody commented on it. I’ve dug it out of my emailed notifications, and I’ll repost it below. Again, sorry for the trouble. Nobody’s posts are supposed to get deleted unless they’re precariously vicious, libelous, etc.

  • sanity June 13th, 2008 | 12:06 pm

    Revising history does not make the complainers correct. RWSA held 11 public hearings, which included information on dredging, piping the water from the james and other dam alternatives at the start. Mr. Lynch chose to ignore those hearings. The James pipeline was not rejected because of cost, but because it involved easements and because the people who did ATTEND the meetings expressed a profound disloke for the plan. So far Mr. Lynch and company have attacked a detailed study with made up numbers. Thier original bogus cost estimate for dredging claimed no permit was needed. DEQ saya that is wrong. Then they presented cost estimates from people who addmitted to not have done ANY examination of the rervior. They assert that bigger trucks could be used, but leave off the cost of road improvements to handle those trucks. They fail to include any signifigant disposal cost, saying something will be found. Most importantly, the $142 million figure includes the required replacement of the current dam, and the repair of the sugar hollow pipeline, both casts NOT covered in Mr. Lynch’s numbers. RWSA has NEVER opposed the possibility of maintanance dredging. During the drought, when presumably casts would have been lower, RWSA tried to get a permit to dredge, but DEQ refused to agree to expidite the application, garanteeing that it would not be granted for a minimum of 12 months. Even if Mr. Lynch’s numbers were more than fantasy, and S. Rivanna could be dredged at a record pace, we would not be able to meet our projected water needs. Finally, if Mr. Lynch was to busy or to tired to attend the public hearings before voting, then I would submit that he did not do the job he was elected to do and the taxpayers paid him to do and owes us a refund.

  • Sanity June 13th, 2008 | 3:49 pm

    In that case, I apologize for the accusation.

  • [...] for a Sustainable Water Supply, the group of mostly ex-officials who claim the public has been misled by a Pennsylvania firm allegedly so tempted by the prospect of a $3.1 million dam design contract [...]




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