The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce and Free Enterprise Forum today reaffirmed their organizations� support for the approved, permitted 50 Year Community Water Supply Plan in light of recent public discussions that have lost focus on the goals and costs of Charlottesville�s and Albemarle�s community water supply planning.� �The Charlottesville City Council, Albemarle County Board of Supervisors, and Rivanna Water & Sewer Authority Board are in agreement on all the components of the approved, permitted 50 Year Community Water Supply Plan,� noted Chamber President Timothy Hulbert.� The RWSA recently received a series of environmental permits to proceed towards construction of the approved plan.� �With the other components agreed upon, recent public discussions have been framed as simply as �dredge� or �dam,�� Mr. Hulbert continued.� �And on that matter, the facts are clear � construction of an earthen dam 30-feet higher at Ragged Mountain is estimated as costing $23million yielding more than 1 billion gallons of additional drinking water capacity, while a one-time dredging operation, which also necessitates repairing the 100+year old Ragged Mountain Dam, will restore only about 150 million gallons of capacity at an estimated cost of $30million.� The repairs at Ragged Mountain will cost an additional $6.4 million. �Why would any community spend over $10 million more to get 86% less drinking water capacity?�� �The recent demand study showed 20% of current water use is from commercial enterprises,� Mr. Hulbert added. �Commercial customers are focused on the bottom line.� And the bottom line is that building a new earthen dam at Ragged Mountain costs ratepayers less than dredging and fixing the existing dam.�� �The simple question, since 2002, has been what is the least environmentally damaging, most practicable alternative to provide this community needed water during time of extreme drought?� stated Free Enterprise Forum President Neil Williamson.� �A diverse group of environmental and business concerns came together on the community water supply plan in 2006.� Since then, while a few individuals raised questions and concerns, we believe these concerns have been addressed.� The approved community water supply plan is the only solution that will provide us both the water we need and the mandated river flows.� The Free Enterprise Forum, a non-profit privately-funded organization, is dedicated to providing clear positive balance to the discussions of important issues of the day which analyzes local government policy and monitors governmental boards and commissions in Central Virginia.� The Charlottesville Regional Chamber of Commerce is dedicated to representing private enterprise, promoting business and enhancing the quality of life in the greater Charlottesville communities.� Founded in 1913, the Chamber has 1,000 member enterprises which employ more than 45,000 people in the Greater Charlottesville region, representing an estimated total payroll of more than $1.3 billion a year.
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