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Joining a regional authority helps the county plan for future growth.
Friday, June 28, 2013
More than a half-century has passed since Montgomery County’s leaders chose not to join a first-of-its-kind regional water authority with Virginia Tech and the towns of Blacksburg and Christiansburg. At the time, supervisors saw no reason for a rural county to operate utilities.
“They just didn’t foresee the growth and the need we were going to have,” Supervisor Chris Tuck said at a meeting Monday night.
The county eventually created its own public service authority to oversee a patchwork of small and sometimes balky water systems. But officials came to recognize that the county would need a long-term solution to ensure a reliable water supply for residents and businesses and eliminate the need to rehabilitate aging systems.
This week, after years of planning and negotiations, the county formally joined Tech and the two towns in a renamed NRV Regional Water Authority, which will draw water from the New River at Peppers Ferry. The county laid the groundwork for joining the authority by adopting a comprehensive plan that spells out where future development will occur and where water will be needed. The county and authority members later worked through financial and engineering issues before the two towns agreed to let Montgomery join.
The agreement benefits all parties. It will provide a reliable, long-term water supply for Montgomery County and allow the county to better plan for future growth.
As Tuck said Monday night: “This board may do a lot of things . . . but I believe 50 years from now, there will be nothing as important as what we did in joining the water authority.”
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