Date: Mon, 17 Apr 2006 00:36:10 -0400
From: Kevin Lynch <email@example.com>
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To: Kevin Lynch <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: [SPAM] RWSA meeting Tuesday
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Thank you to the over one hundred people who have emailed me in the past year concerning our community’s water supply options. I’ve heard a lot of good perspectives about our water supply challenges, with an overwhelming consensus on developing our new water supply within our watershed. I really appreciate everyone who has attended community meetings, written letters and pushed us to come up with the best solution for dealing with our water needs.
I hope that you will be able to attend the next public meeting which Rivanna is having this Tuesday, at Monticello High School. More information, including a preview of the presentation is on the web at www.rivanna.org/community10.htm
I believe that the preferred alternative which Rivanna has developed shows that they have seriously considered and responded to community input. The plan is a phased expansion of the Ragged Mountain dam, ultimately to be connected via pipeline to the South Fork. Personally, I still have a few questions about the details of cost and phasing, but I think the overall concept is sound, is one the community can support, and can be quickly and economically implemented.
As part of this project, the community will have an unprecedented opportunity to improve and protect some of our local streams and greenways, through the mitigation plan which is being developed by Rivanna. Raising the dam at Ragged Mountain will impact 2.6 acres of wetlands and 13,500 linear feet of stream. In order to get approval of the regulators, Rivanna must mitigate this impact by improving a similar amount of streams and wetlands elswhere. Rivanna has committed to working within our local watershed to find mitigation projects, to be proposed to the regulators in July.
We have a number of opportunities to put additional stream buffer land in the urban area into conservation easement as part of the Ragged Mountain mitigation plan, particularly parcels of land along Moores creek, Meadow Creek and the Rivanna River.
As the Rivanna presentation on the web points out, remediation of impaired streams is often more expensive than protection of existing hiqh quality streams outside of the urban area. However I believe the additional benefit to the community of improving urban steams is much greater. Putting more of the urban area streams into conservation easement means that not only can the streams be made healthier and cleaner, but the community can enjoy the increased recreational potential of the land. I also believe that we have an obligation to the communities and recreational river users downstream of us to keep the water which passes through the urban area as clean as possible. And since the majority of the Rivanna rate payers live in the urban area it is appropriate that the mediation funds be spent to improve the urban area environment to the greatest extent possible.
Over the past couple of months I have been working to identify parcels within the urban area which could be used for mitigation and I believe that we can provide at least half, if not all of the 13,500 linear feet of stream mitigation within the urban area, at a relatively modest cost. I understand that there is also some interest in improving the streams in the Buck Mountain area as part of the mitigation. I am not opposed to this, although I do believe that the majority of remediation should be done in the urban area where it directly benefits a greater number of City and County residents.
There is also nothing to prevent Rivanna from exceeding the minimal requirements for remediation, and I would ideally like to see a plan that is a model of how to improve urban water quality in a comprehensive and economical way. Rivanna has previously budgeted 5 million of this 130 million dollar phased project towards environmental remediation. While there are several places I think we could look to for reducing costs, environmental remediation is not one of them.
I would encourage all of you to help make sure that Rivanna develops the best mitigation plan possible as we move forward with the water supply expansion. I look forward to seeing most of you all again on Tuesday