Buried down in the Watauga Democrat article published on Friday (“Old WHS attracts potential buyer”) is the news that the Town of Boone last Tuesday night (at the same time our Republican county commissioners where trying to fight their way out of a paper bag at the public hearing on a sales tax referendum) set aside about half of the town’s available water supply – 70,000 gallons a day – exclusively for the development of the high school property.
The Town of Boone currently has roughly 145,000 gallons a day available for new development. Giving half of that availability to the county for the development of the old high school property might have warranted a front-page article in the Watauga Democrat. It made page 5, and the news about the allocation of 70,000 gals. was buried a dozen paragraphs into the article.
Meanwhile, at their March 1 meeting, the County Commission heard from Joe Furman that 175,000 gallons per day were needed for the development of the old H.S. property. Following that March 1st meeting, in a letter to the Boone Town Council, County Commission chair Nathan Miller actually requested 200,000 gallons a day.
What gives here? 200,000 gallons a day would be somewhere in the ballpark for what would be needed for a student housing complex as large or larger than the ASU-owned Highland Commons (at the intersection of Hwy 105 and the Hwy 105 Bypass).
70,000 gallons a day, which the town has offered, would accommodate a 150,000-square-foot Target, a Cineplex, other commercial stores, and some condo or town-house residential apartments.
Puzzling ... that the county would ask for considerably more water than the town of Boone has. And will the county get all petulant about the town’s inability to give what it doesn’t have?