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Kerr Reservoir allocation plan selected by Authority

SoVaNow.com / May 24, 2010
Members of the Halifax County Service Authority on Thursday unanimously gave their support for Option Three of the choices presented to them for the allocation of stored water from the Kerr Reservoir.

Earlier in the month John Feild, chairman of the Roanoke River Bi-State Commission had asked localities to send responses to him by the June meeting of the commission indicating their support for how the allocation of the water resources should be handled.

Currently the US Army Corps of Engineers has made the decisions, usually on a first-come, first-serve basis, as to how the water should be distributed.

Option Three calls for the states of North Carolina and Virginia to purchase the allocation which would then be divided equally between the two states. The stored water’s estimated value is $11.7 million which means Virginia would have to put up its one-half share. However, Authority members, along with Halifax County Supervisors who earlier approved the same option, said they felt it would protect the localities’ future water needs.

In other business on Thursday Authority members began a review of the budget for the upcoming calendar year and noted that an increase in fees is likely to be necessary since the Authority’s only source of income is from fees collected for water and sewer services.

Also R. O. “Rick” Harrell, who is leaving the board at the end of his term in June, thanked fellow members for their work on the Authority since took it over water-sewer services from the towns of South Boston and Halifax and Halifax County two years ago.

“This Authority is a new vehicle for Halifax County,” Harrell said. “We operate under some assumptions and limitations that were not present when water and sewer services were provided by local municipalities. Our source of funding is essentially the charges that we make for water and sewer. If we provide a discount to some citizens, we must make up the shortfall with others. Your job is to apportion the charges as fairly as possible while continuing to make improvements in the system to reduce the escalation of charges in the future. You must be fair yet forward looking.”

Harrell also warned his fellow board members about paying for development which has created some controversy for members. “Paying for development is not your responsibility,” he said, noting that the Authority can only charge the people it serves, which are a relatively few people in the central area of the county.

Harrell also praised his successor, Stuart Nelson, who will be taking his seat in July. Nelson will be an excellent addition to this board, he said, bringing a new dimension and management experience with him.

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