Henderson Co. residents voice opposition to Polk’s Lake Adger plan

Published 5:16 pm Thursday, August 27, 2009

Several Henderson County residents spoke against the reclassification and several questions were asked and answered by Polk officials who attended the meeting.

The reclassification will affect land use in Polk and Henderson counties, but the majority of the regulations imposed by the state are less strict than those that are already in place.

Henderson County resident Larry Rogers said he is very much against Henderson County being controlled by another county.

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&dquo;We should not allow another county to come in and take our water,&dquo; Rogers told Henderson County commissioners.

Others, including Shannon Baldwin, said they have concerns considering Polk County is embarking on a costly water project, but its own municipalities are not participating.

Baldwin also said he&squo;d like to know more about what areas in Polk County they plan to serve first and in what priority order.

Barbara Head, who presented the board with a petition containing 283 Green River Community residents&squo; signatures, said she&squo;s learned Polk has two water sources already and Henderson County should have control of what&squo;s been protected by Henderson County for many years. She also said Henderson County should be given compensation for its loss.

Mark Stiwell said if Henderson County is going to be sharing its resources, there should be a written agreement that if Polk ever sells to outside customers in the future, Henderson County could have shared revenues.

Polk County commissioner Warren Watson answered many questions as he spoke for Polk officials, saying that Polk has no intention of selling to any outside entities. Watson also said that it is Polk&squo;s intention in the future to sell water to its towns of Columbus, Saluda and Tryon as costs to maintain their own systems rise.

Polk County is seeking approval from the Henderson County Board of Commissioners to get permission from the state to reclassify the Green River in order to purchase Lake Adger for $1.6 million for Polk&squo;s future water use.

Polk requested that the watershed be reclassified to a class IV, which would have affected only areas in Polk County, but the state urged Polk to reclassify it to a class III, which would affect 87,470 total acres, 36,825 in Polk County and 50,645 in Henderson County.

Henderson County has created a water task force and will be holding another public hearing on Sept. 1. Commissioners plan to discuss Polk&39;s request and other water issues, including Saluda&39;s asking Henderson County&squo;s permission to purchase the Tuexedo water system and other water issues for the southern end of Henderson County.

Look for more details concerning Tuesday&squo;s meeting and Polk County&squo;s process of reclassifying the Green River in Friday&squo;s edition of the Bulletin.