PE Wants To Talk Water

Published 3:56 pm Thursday, January 12, 2012

PRINCE EDWARD – County supervisors are willing to re-test the discussion waters with the Town.

“I think we were headed in the right direction,” offered Hampden District Supervisor Charles McKay. “I still say the Town and County should be able to work something out and we should not let it drop.”

The County and Town studied a possible joint Authority to facilitate long-term water needs, but the Town pulled the plug on that discussion last fall and opted to study their own Authority, while offering the County a seat on the new entity.

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On Tuesday, the board reached out to see if the relationship with the Town could be rekindled.

“Mr. Chairman,” Leigh District Supervisor Don Gantt began, broaching the mostly overlooked subject since the Town's press conference, “in the fall, the Town of Farmville wrote us a letter explaining that they were gonna try to put together a water authority and in that letter they had offered us a seat on the water authority. Since that time, I hadn't heard too much one way or the other about it. Since that time, I've had the opportunity to talk with some of the Town Council members and I'm not real sure where they are.”

Gantt was unsure whether they had answered the letter and it was noted that they did not formally answer it.

While the issue of the authority was expected to arise at Council's meeting the following evening (see related story page one), Supervisors weighed in on efforts to get the discussion flowing again.

The Town has long-term water needs, the County has the Sandy River Reservoir and interest in developing water access south of Farmville.

Whether to wait until the Town made a decision or not was an issue for discussion for the board. Gantt asked if the board would consider having Chairman William “Buckie” Fore and County Administrator Wade Bartlett write a letter to the Town asking them to reconsider-asking them to reappoint a committee and have the County reappoint a committee “or however would suit everybody and go back at it. I think a lot of progress was made with the negotiations the County and the Town had together and we're (going to) miss an opportunity, a big opportunity just letting it slide by.”

Gantt also offered, “…I'm not saying that it's (going to) work out perfectly, but the deal is I'm saying this deserves us putting in the effort to keep trying.”

Fore suggested, “If the board will leave it to the county administrator's and my discretion, we will attempt to open negotiations again and just see where it goes.”

The board, although they did not vote, appeared to be at a consensus on the matter.

Vice Chairman Howard Simpson in the discussion also said that they don't need to drop it, that they need to try to work something out or get something going on the water system with the Town. The Town might can do something by themselves and the County might try to do something themselves, he asserted, adding that it would be “a whole lot easier if both the Town and County worked together.”