Sunday, March 20, 2011

Watauga County Wants More

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?


Mike D. said...

Oh God,

Please do not allow a Target in Boone. If you think WalMart sells very few American-made products, then you have not compared them to Target.

I look at labels and packaging on every single thing I purchase. I do everything plausable to avoid foreign, and specifically Chinese products. It is very possible to buy American at WalMart. I found it nearly impossible to do so at Target. In my opinion, they are the very worst offender of American industry in existence. At least WalMart tries.

It makes me sick to hear how enthusiastic people get at the prospect of visiting a Target. Sure the prices are cheap, but the products are crap and the business policy is patently anti-American. That's my opinion of Target.

I hope that's not what goes in the old high school space.

Anonymous said...

Looks like student housing to me. There's no way retail/commercial would use that kind of water. You would think the commissioners might have explored how much water there actually is before asking the Town to squeeze blood out of a turnip. But I guess that's just the way they roll.

lefty said...

So Mike D. do you ride your bike to the nearest Target? That would be about sixty miles. Wow!

Mike D. said...


Nope, I got a ride with someone who was going that way anyway. It was suggested for our wedding registry, and it was a disappointing experience. We searched high and low for American-made products, and it was truly disheartening.

Thanks for remembering that I travel by bike. I just got it out and oiled the chain, pumped up the tires and rode it down to the bike shop yesterday. I'm looking forward to many great days of biking this year. :-)

inquiring mind said...

Where were the discussions on the sell of this property held? Surely not in closed session; that would be a violation of open meeting laws.

This has supposedly been going on for 8 months and we are just now hearing about it. Has investigative reporting finally arrived in Watauga County?

If so, help us figure this out. Who is handling the negotiations? Where are the public records? Is it true that the Town of Boone is going to allocate the requested water within the 3 years that it will take to construct the project?(That is what the county administrative office has indicated.) And, has the Town of Boone not put a deadline of the end of the year (use it lose it clause) with the 70,000 gallons reserved.

If there is a truly interested buyer, then why hasn't it been mentioned as part of the solution to our budget problems?

The "Sunshine Amendment" to the NC State Constitution is much needed. Once people become elected, they adopt this "us vs. them" or the "you have elected me; now shut-up".