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Originally published: 2012-10-08 11:20:49
Last modified: 2012-10-08 11:20:49

Boone ‘surprised’ at Ashe position on access road

by Anna Oakes

 Boone Town Manager Greg Young said the town will consult with its engineer and attorney to consider options as the result of Ashe County’s refusal to sign a form related to Boone’s water intake project.

“We’re surprised that they’ve taken that position,” Young said.

A Sept. 24 letter from Ashe County Manager Pat Mitchell to the N.C. Department of Public Safety indicated the county would not sign off on floodplain documents for the project and that the Ashe County commissioners oppose any portion of an access road for the intake facility crossing into Ashe County.

The 4 million gallon-per-day raw water intake facility is planned for a 10-acre site on the South Fork of the New River between Todd and Brownwood in Watauga County. Plans are to transport the water to Boone’s water treatment plant via a transmission line along Brownwood Road and U.S. 421.

The deed for the sale of the 10-acre property guarantees the town a 45-foot-wide, 3,000-foot-long right-of-way and easement on adjacent land owned by the Cooper family from the water intake property in Watauga County to Cranberry Springs Road in Ashe County for an access road to the water intake site.

Young noted that the signature required for floodplain permitting and construction of the access road are separate issues. Contractors for the town discovered errors in the floodplain maps for the site, and FEMA requires local governments enforcing floodplain regulations to sign off on any map revisions.

Young said he would have to discuss the floodplain map issue and the access road with the project engineer and town attorney.

“Whether or not they’ll permit a road or not permit a road, I don’t know,” Young said. “There’s other alternative ways to get out of the property.”