Council OKs $20M reservoir land buy

Full story: Hampton Roads Daily Press

Against the backdrop of two new studies that rebuff the city's argument that it needs to build the King William reservoir to combat increasing water demand on the Peninsula in the future, the City Council ...
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21 - 39 of 39 Comments Last updated Aug 28, 2008
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Leslie

Annapolis, MD

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#21
Aug 13, 2008
 
What's even worse, they haven't been able at this time to get the extension of their State Water Control Board permit for the reservoir, and the agency advised them against spending money before that issue was resolved. There is also pending federal litigation against the reservoir. So what to they do? Take on millions more in debt, displace people from their land, and obligate Peninsula residents for many more millions of dollars.
virtual indian

Yorktown, VA

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#22
Aug 13, 2008
 
In answer to a question by councilwoman Scott, City Manager Hidebrandt claimed that they could not just get options on the land - they needed to buy it to carry out the archelogical research required by their federal permit.

That's strange - in the early 90's they used imminent domain to acquire access to property in the reservoir area to do surveying, carry out biological and topological inventories, as well as carrying out the preliminary archelogical surveys. They certainly could do the same thing for access to do the more complete archelogical research. I don't think a single landowner went to court over the original access excercise of imminent domain and I doubt that any would oppose access for archelogical studies.

Mr Hildebrandt seems to be the king of misinformation - even when he is talking to City Council members.
Independent in NN

United States

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#23
Aug 13, 2008
 
We have too many citizens who do not know and do not understand what is going on in this city. When you have a city of transients as we do with all the military who stay for a few years and leave, it is easier for a group to gain control and become corrupt from the power they gain. They may not start out that way, but with each little unnoticed effort, the process begins and now we do not know how to stop them. There is not a process for recall although some are getting petitions signed. The "GoodOlBoys" are state and county-wide and they stand with each other. the rest of us try to be heard but unless our numbers really increase, it is very difficult! Thank God for two voices of reason on the City Council - when will the other two ladies wise up?
Ralph

United States

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#24
Aug 13, 2008
 
This relentless effort by the powers that be to push through such an irrational and unpopular project is, sadly, not so unbelievable to me anymore. Its seems like predictable behavior from our leaders, to make matters worse, by ignoring the informed citizenry, and hoping hoping the rest isnít paying attention, so that sweet deal can be made for a few. From environmental concerns, to fiscal burdens, to violating Native American rights, to a nonexistent demand, the reasons to not make this mistake are abundant. I urge others to speak up in opposition to the KWR project. We are many, they are few ... letís let them know that their war of attrition isnít won yet.
Estimated Prophet

AOL

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#25
Aug 13, 2008
 
The article says the 20 million is to purchase 3000 acres of land. From what I understand, the money is to seize the land of people who don't want to sell. What's worse, the new data that is out shows it is clearly not needed.

Look at the new reports at www.savethemattaponi.org It totally contradicts all of NN's rationale for the project using NN Waterworks own data. The article and the report clearly say NN expected to be selling 61.2 million gallons a day, but is only selling 43.5 million gallons a day. Instead of rising, water use has been dropping for over fifteen years. NN was off 17.7 million gallons a day in their projections and they are continuing as though they were true! The whole new reservoir is only supposed to yield about 17 million gallons a day. The city's data is off that much!

Newport News is essentially the worst governed city in the state if you look at the big picture. Mayor Frank and his cronies seem to worship money and power and their citizens who provide that are just a means to an end. The Mayor and most of the City Council should be removed as soon as possible before they ruin the city beyond repair.
Down The Drain

Newport News, VA

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#26
Aug 14, 2008
 
When is someone going to demand an investigation of Joe and his sidekick. This is insane. Once again there are questions of impropriety. Do close friends of Joe's own property in KW. Will they benefit from the reservoir? Why on earth is Joe still pushing for this when he knows NN taxpayers are already over burdened.

Seniors who have lived in NN their entire lives are being forced to move away because they can no longer afford to pay the taxes on their homes. Someone needs to put a stop to this guy. Is there no one who isn't afraid of him?
Down The Drain

Newport News, VA

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#27
Aug 14, 2008
 
Check it out, folks. I did. Be forewarned, it's hard to swallow.

http://www.savethemattaponi.org/
Mac Mestayer

Newport News, VA

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#28
Aug 14, 2008
 
I think that city council's vote was wrong and a waste of money.
I think the bigger news is good, though; and that is that peninsula
residents are able to use water more wisely. We should all value
our clean water supply - it is the envy of the world, but it is equally
important in the long run to value our bay. It is our responsibility
to nurture it, and to oppose the outdated and short-sighted power
politics of the past.
Neal Furgurson

Norfolk, VA

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#29
Aug 14, 2008
 
So here we are again. Money trumps logic. Greed trumps sense. Politics trumps reason.

The council people probably don't "believe" in climate change either... sad.
Independent in NN

United States

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#30
Aug 14, 2008
 
Does anyone know who benefits from using and destroying our present watersheds and who will benefit from the purchases of land in King William? Is there anyone who knows how to "follow the funds"? It is our money that is being "swallowed" so let's find out where it is going - I would if I knew how!!!!!

Who ultimately benefited from the overpayment for the properties purchased by the City Council???? Whose pockets is our money lining?????
Estimated Prophet

AOL

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#31
Aug 14, 2008
 
Independent, all I know is that Mayor Frank has been making various disclosure statements for many years that he is not profiting from the reservoir and that he did not know his law partner and family owned land in King William County. His law partner E D David, is Trustee of the King William Land Trust which holds a lot of the land in and around the proposed reservoir.

There's a lot more to it than that, but the above is what I know to be certifiably true in every respect because I heard Mayor Frank say it.

People also complain that since Mayor Frank's law partner is related to him, it is also Frank's family that stands to gain. I was told they were first cousins, but I don't know that for sure. Maybe by marriage? Someone ought to ask him. Anybody know?
angry N N Citizen

Newport News, VA

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#32
Aug 14, 2008
 
If you weren't at the Newport News City Council meeting Tuesday night you should have. If you're there in person you get a first hand look at the arrogant members of the city council. This is not ever seen on the TV screen. Joe pay very little attention to the citizens who take their time to care about what's going on in the city and Bert seems to sleep through out the meeting. Whitaker takes his direction from Joe Frank and if Ms Scott doesn't know how she feels about something she just votes for it..... Watch out, she's looking to become your next mayor.... Joe Whitaker once said in a council meeting "Sometimes you have to go along to get along". I think that must be what Ms Scott is doing....
John Jensen

AOL

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#33
Aug 15, 2008
 
It looks like to me that Newport News own figures show that there is no dire need for the water from the Mattaponi River, so I have to wonder why they continue to pursue this project. The vast majority of King William residents don't want this project and I would think that the residents of Newport News don't want to go into all the debt and adverse pulicity of this debacle.
angry N N Citizen

Newport News, VA

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#34
Aug 15, 2008
 
To Neal Furguson

You are very right, Money does trump logic and greed does trump sense.... so get yourself down to the city council meetings and let your voice be heard !
City Council meets every 2nd and 4th Tuesday at 7:30
1st floor City Hall building.... believe me there is a lot going on at one of these meetings that you do not see on television..........
Hmmm

Newport News, VA

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#35
Aug 15, 2008
 
angry N N Citizen wrote:
if Ms Scott doesn't know how she feels about something she just votes for it..... Watch out, she's looking to become your next mayor.... Joe Whitaker once said in a council meeting "Sometimes you have to go along to get along". I think that must be what Ms Scott is doing....
If that happens, I'm moving! She and Joe and Tina all combined have half a brain! They rubber stamp what every Joe and Randy say.
Elizabeth Christeller

Sedro Woolley, WA

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#36
Aug 15, 2008
 
The Tidewater area already has more people than it can safely evacuate in a natural or man-made disaster. Every acre of land that becomes parking lots, buildings and roads increases water run-off into the Chesapeake Bay without the excellent filtering system nature gave us for free. Why would we want further development in the area?

I spoke with someone from Newport News Waterworks 2 years ago about water conservation. He told me that even with education, ciizens did not conserve voluntarily until the price of water was increased. Is this what we have to look forward to when those of us in King and Queen County are forced to buy our water from Newport News?
angry N N Citizen

Newport News, VA

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#37
Aug 16, 2008
 
To Hmmm
You're right about that half a brain thing. We had a great lady running in the South district but let's face it, people were paid to vote for Tina and if you don't think that happens think again... Watch carefully.... Vick will vote with Joe every time... Whitaker and Vick, what a pair.
Three Ring Circus

Newport News, VA

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#38
Aug 22, 2008
 
angry N N Citizen wrote:
If you weren't at the Newport News City Council meeting Tuesday night you should have. If you're there in person you get a first hand look at the arrogant members of the city council. This is not ever seen on the TV screen. Joe pay very little attention to the citizens who take their time to care about what's going on in the city and Bert seems to sleep through out the meeting. Whitaker takes his direction from Joe Frank and if Ms Scott doesn't know how she feels about something she just votes for it..... Watch out, she's looking to become your next mayor.... Joe Whitaker once said in a council meeting "Sometimes you have to go along to get along". I think that must be what Ms Scott is doing....
Your take on the last Council meeting is accurate to the bone. It amazes me everytime that a citizen gets up there to speak and Joe Frank is shuffling papers, drinking, whispering to Whittaker.

Some of the speakers were talking about losing their family property which had been in their families for generations. It was heartbreaking. Most of the time Frank never even looked at the them, while Whittaker rolled his eyes and made silly faces.

Mayor Frank knows the camera is only on him at the beginning when he calls their name and at the end, so that's when he pretends to be gracious.

The citizens who show up are often people who are not professional speakers and are slightly nervous. They've taken the time to prepare their comments and come down to the meeting. I am continually impressed with their words and demeanor.

At the beginning of the meeting, my husband said to me, "Bert can't stay awake." At one point, he actually put his head down on the desk. It would have been laughable if it hadn't been so disrespectful to the speakers. He should be voted out next time.

People really should come down and see this spectacle. Bring the kids and popcorn. It's better than the circus and much easier on the wallet.
Native New Kent

United States

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#39
Aug 28, 2008
 
Jimmy P wrote:
<quoted text>
And the rates are going up again to pay for the debt on the new bonds! NN City Council uses Waterworks for their own personal gain. This needs to end now!
Oh well, put birth control in your waters to keep the population down. Running for Mayor? Or a white man's yes man.

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