Council Requests Dredging Study

City Council endorsed the local water supply plan last night, Seth Rosen writes in today’s Daily Progress, but they want more studying of the dredging option. They’re proceeding as planned, but apparently open to doing otherwise. And that means months (years?) of further uncertainty.

18 Responses to “Council Requests Dredging Study”

  • They endorsed the plan that isn’t a plan?

  • Hey come on the finally pasted the Meadowcreek Parkway- they were very tired.

  • passed not pasted…

  • And how much will THIS study cost?

  • The RWSA should not be in charge of it, that is unright.

    Mayor Brown has good point about the Ragged Mtn. dam, if it needs work on the base anyway, most of the cost is there, the $ cost anyway. But I can’t believe pumping water uphill is the only way to make this system work when the water comes down from the Blue Ridge, where we already have dams and pipelines into the city.

    The project is ungreen in so many ways it is hard to count. But mainly it does not follow: reduce, reuse, recycle. Instead, it is build, pump and flood.

    And it seems clear now that private interests on the Mormons are getting their way, while publicly accessible land down the Rivanna will suffer. I don’t know if it will be reduced to a thin muddy line, as Kevin Lynch wonders, but it doesn’t sound right. Ungreen in the extreme.

  • Approximately, $275,000 is the current estimate floating around for the study.
    I thought it odd that Ambassador Norris admitted publicly that the current regional proposal is not a PLAN that can be approved by the State according to recent state law, then continued to refer to and treat the proposal as a plan.
    I also find it strange that council did not state that it’s approval of the regional proposal was CONTINGENT upon a study of dredging in general or even maintenance dredging, but left it up to the O’Connell-Mueller-Tucker-Fern-Gaffney (developer) group to decide if they want to conduct a study that they have already stated in no uncertain terms that they do not wish to conduct. Was this just window dressing for the public or is council really that dim?
    I also found it strange that Ambassador Norris thinks that increasing the reservoir capacity four times will spur a large number of people to conserve its far-more-than-ample supply? Is this also window dressing or a lack of understanding human nature?
    Does anyone find it interesting that council would ask for a study, implying it doesn’t have enough information and that the information that was used to justify this proposal is erroneous and reflects poorly on the consultants’ quality of work that the O’Connell-Mueller-Tucker-Fern-Gaffney (developer) group has supported with $M, and then vote to fully endorse such a proposal? Is it a matter of council’s not wanting to spend its brain power on this issue that was thrust upon them, or a matter of their not wanting to alienate Overrun O’Connell, or is it that they just are incapable of actually solving a problem? Currently, their solution seems to be the usual: give each side the money it asks for and make the project even more expensive. EVERYBODY RIDES!
    I also found it interesting that Mrs. Edwards, who is a newcomer to city government, feels that this council needs to explain to us citizens the nature of the city manger form of government. I suspect she’s the one that needs the elucidation.

  • The US Army Corps of Engineers just granted the permit for the dam, the day after the city council endorsement. I wonder how serious the federal environmental assessment will be, after 8 years of the removal of science from its offices. Hey, some knob bulb from Liberty University or Regent may be making this decision up in D.C. Here’s to them acting responsibly and wisely… and citizen revolt.

    But I actually don’t want to knock students from those schools, they did a very good job uncovering police brutality on Water Street. Nixon goes to China.

    Just saying some people up in D.C. with local ties here may be cooking this thing.

  • Questions: how is creating four acres of wetland mitigating the flooding of existing streams? If they plan to plant a forest on 200 acres to mitigate the clear-cutting of 180 acres, what’s on the acres now, trees? Green is no closer to this project than McIntire park, which is being un-greened.

  • Thank god the debate is over. Compromise is good. Not everyone has to be pleased but the community benefits. And to the HOOK….NEXT…

  • whocares, the people who have to foot the bill.

  • Dredging Can Hurt

    I need a “dregeing study” done on my wallet. It’s feeling kinda light these days. I think the city taxes dredge machine is digging in a little too deep and it’s starting to become a real pain in the butt.

  • Actually the city doesn’t have to pay for this. The surveys cost $275,000 and RWSA has a watershed protection fund that Tom Frederick wrote to his board could pay for this. RWSA is also sitting on about $30million of our money after doubling water rates in 2003 and has been bankrolling it since.

  • Dredging Can Hurt

    Oh, well that sounds good. Then maybe that pain in the butt I’m feeling is just a hemorrhoid flare-up.

  • Dredging Can Hurt, hold off on your self-diagnoses. Council’s recommendations may not have any effect upon Fern-Tucker-Gaffney (developer) who also have to vote on that expenditure. According to Kevin Lynch this past Thursday on the Schilling Show, Gary O’Connell emailed the staff at RWSA to ignore a request by council made last November to investigate dredging. If they vote against funding, Council may have to pay for the study itself.

  • RWSA has $300,000 to do the dredging studies which could potentially SAVE water rate payers tens of millions of dollars once the true cost of dredging is known. All we have now is one estimate from a company that builds dams and pipelines, and has been paid over $5million in consulting fees and dam design fees to tell us that dredging could cost $223 million. More money than it would cost to dredge the Panama Canal according to the Hook, which has a series of investigative articles on the cost of dredging and the skinny behind this whole story at

    The consultants current estimate for the dam and new pipeline is $100million with 100% cost overrun so we could be looking at $200
    million and the consultants and RWSA say these estimates are based on assumptions. Isn’t it time for a REAL dredging bid to get the FACTS .

  • The one thing that needs to be said here is never reference the Hook. It isn’t impartial, it isn’t a reference, it isn’t journalism. Period and move one.

  • Thanks to the Hook our officials are finally,after 42 years of neglect, seriously looking at dredging the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir, our major water supply which if left to decay would become a muddy swamp. Not only will the Hook’s reporting of the facts of dredging possibly save the Reservoir but also has the potential to save thousands of trees and millions of dollars. I call that pretty worthwhile reporting.

    The Hook has actually reported new information about dredging and the cost of dredging by contacting real dredging companies which had never been done before,to my knowledge. Getting those facts are what led our officials and the Sierra Club, and Mr. Crutchfield, who wrote an excellent letter published in the Hook, to question the $223 dredging estimate of Gannett Fleming , the sole consultant.

    I doubt without their excellent investigative journalism, that I see very little of anywhere else in Charlottesville ,that this would have happened. I will continue to read the Hook for in-depth reporting about local issues and a terrific web-site that is not only the best design, but also the most informative in town.

  • Agree, the raggish and at times irresponsibly snide & libelous style of The Hook makes it even more embarrassing that no one in local government, no engineers, no one, did the most minimal work exploring the real options for our water supply. Like Water Lover says. What do we pay these people for, to rip us off? The professional staff should offer options and the politicians should demand that they do. 101.

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