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Originally published: 2012-06-28 08:56:50
Last modified: 2012-06-28 09:00:55

Jordan, take heed

We are writing this letter to urge Rep. Jonathan Jordan in the strongest possible terms to oppose the Boone ETJ bill just recently passed by the state Senate, and sponsored by Sen. Dan Soucek.

This bill is ill-conceived and shortsighted in a number of ways. It is entirely reasonable that the Boone Town Council should have ETJ jurisdiction within a mile or so of its current boundaries, even if those areas are not likely to be annexed in the near future.

First, Boone lies in a mountain valley, and its air quality can be adversely affected by polluting industries located within that valley. Such industries include asphalt and cement plants. 

Boone must have the authority to approve or disapprove the establishment of such industries within its traditional ETJ.  Otherwise, the health of the residents of Boone could be compromised, especially those of us who suffer from asthma.  
Soucek did not address this concern; we doubt he even thought about it. It is Jordan's responsibility, as a representative for this area, to bring this concern before the House.

Second, Boone is surrounded, especially on its northern side, by steep  slopes. There are scientifically sound reasons why development should be limited on those slopes, because of the very real danger of landslides and floods, which would compromise both the safety of the population of Boone,  and the water quality of local rivers and streams, from which our drinking water derives. 

We invite you to consider carefully the steep slope risk data found at http://www.geology.enr.state.nc.us/Landslide_Info/WataugaCounty.html.

It appears that Jordan's colleague, Soucek, did not investigate those  dangers before he introduced his bill.  As a representative for our county, Jordan has the responsibility to bring before the House the dangers of development on steep slopes in the vicinity of Boone, and urge that body to vote down the Boone ETJ bill.

Richard and Mary Gray
Boone