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Clarksville awarded grant to prepare for coal spill / August 02, 2017

The Town of Clarksville has been awarded a $25,000 grant from the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation to pay for a spill response plan in the event Kerr Lake is impacted by a coal car derailment.

The grant is funded by Duke Energy as part of a settlement agreement arising from the February 2014 coal ash spill on the Dan River in Eden, N.C. Since Clarksville sits on Buggs Island Lake, which is part of the river basin affected by the coal ash disaster, the town was eligible to apply for the funding.

The need for a spill response plan in communities on the Roanoke River basin became apparent after a pipe running under one of the Duke’s coal ash lagoons at its decommissioned Eden plant ruptured, dumping more than 39,000 tons of coal ash into the Dan River. The toxic sludge spread 70 miles downstream. Then, as now, Clarksville had no spill response plan in place.

The plan would include steps for dealing with a sudden contamination of the Town’s water supply and emergency procedures for providing backup water supply in the event that a coal car spilled into the lake.

Town Manager Jeff Jones said Clarksville will hire a qualified firm to help with the development of a spill response plan. The money from the grant will be used to pay for the expert.

In other business at last week’s meeting of Clarksville Town Council, the town operations department reported on their efforts to deal with water leaks in main water lines. Two of the leaks were repaired by the town employees — one near Carter Bank and the other near Lake Country Auto on U.S. 58. A third leak at Burlington Drive was contracted out for repairs.

Town Planning Commission members are continuing their work rewriting and updating Clarksville’s zoning ordinance.

Jones thanked the town staff, members of the police and operations departments, volunteers, Sheila Cuykendall and the Chamber of Commerce for their work hosting another successful Lakefest.

Also, the town office has issued another round of notices to property owners whose buildings or grounds pose a hazard to residents or are in violation of the town zoning ordinance. Currently, there are 22 property owners in Clarksville who received these notices.

The owners have a limited time to clean up their property before the town will send in its workers to address the problems. The property owners will be billed for this work.

Glenn Burney was reappointed to the Lake Country Regional Airport Commission for a term ending June 30, 2020.

A steering committee that includes council members Carolyn Hite and Bruce Woerner was created to begin work on Clarksville’s 200th anniversary celebration which takes place in 2018.

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