Water authority approves firm

By Lesley Jenkins
Star staff

Progress is a slow process, especially for the Watauga River Regional Water Authority. The November meeting of the board was short and simple, but only in an effort to ensure issues are handled properly.
   In the next step of the phase to bring a stable source of drinking water to areas in Carter County, the board approved a plan to negotiate a contract with the Knoxville-based firm Jordan, Jones and Goulding.
   The engineering firm was required to meet nine qualifications to be considered, including a complete analysis of existing water systems and projected water needs for the county over the next 50 years.
   Chairman Dale Fair, county mayor, said because of a lack of items for an agenda, a December meeting will not be scheduled. The next meeting will be held Jan. 5 when the board will discuss the election of new officials, and the contract with the engineering firm.
   A workshop will also be held following the January meeting to discuss rules and by-laws for the WRRWA.
   Tentative logos circulated among the members for inspection and suggestions. Additional ideas will be discussed and approved possibly at the next meeting. Fair said the board was not in a rush to make the decision on a logo because they wanted to put a lot of thought into the design so it could be easily recognizable on the side of a truck or hard hat.
   A representative from TVA attended the meeting and said, "I would like to extend our comments on what this board is doing. I am really impressed with all the progress you all have made over the past year, in terms of getting the EPA grant, implementing a surcharge to bring in revenue, hiring an executive director to get things moving, developing a budget and having discussions about by-laws.
   "You have made a tremendous amount of progress in the year. From our perspective (TVA), we would like to encourage all the individual utilities to continue committing themselves to playing on a larger team for Carter County. Because it is only by working together that you are going to be able to bring the most benefit to the citizens of Carter County."