Are My Mountain Water Chances Drying Up?

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After a drawn-out struggle, My Mountain Community may soon see the end to its efforts to gain county water. As the dust settles, though, residents of the community may come up dry. During its February meeting, the Water Authority heard a presentation by Carter and Sloope Engineering Consultant Tom Sloope for the installation of a possible water storage facility. Over the course of the presentation the residents were faced with the harsh reality of the end of their efforts, resulting in slim possibilities of receiving water.

“As part of our original plan to serve this first phase of the water system,”

Sloope explained,

“we had proposed that a storage facility be constructed up in the My Mountain I or II area needed to be able to provide the water storage that would provide water to those residents up there and the surrounding areas.”

Residents present at the meeting asked questions about the size of the tank and other specifics regarding the aesthetics of the storage facility. Sloope explained the science of the water flow, emphasizing the greater pressure needed for fire protection. He then handed around sheets with photos of possible options.

“I think, though, that we have a little issue relative to covenants in My Mountain,”

Sloope said. He explained he had received a letter from a Phase I property owner indicating that the installation of the water storage facility is against the covenant of Phase I.

“I’m trying to determine whether or not we should continue to pursue that or look at other options,”

he said. Water Authority Chairman Mike Queen was cautious about the possibility of violating the covenants, suggesting,

“We can get our county attorney (Lynn Doss) to look at your covenants.”

Queen added, though, that the attorney may say the covenants need to be changed in order for the installation of the water storage facility to take place.

The residents said that a change in covenant requires 100 percent agreement of all names on the covenant, which they said would be nearly impossible because many or the people in the My Mountain Community are absentee landowners, living in other states and difficult to contact.

“It seems like anytime we meet anymore we got a hurdle, a different hurdle everytime,”

Commission Chairman Bill Simonds said.

“So we need to go ahead and start chasing…other areas,”

he continued,

“ We don’t need My Mountain I and II to stop this thing…It’d be great to work with these folks, but if we can’t we need to move on to other places.”

Sharing the chairman’s sentiment, Queen reiterated,

“We’re either going to put a water system in or we’re going to forget it (and) go somewhere else where it’d be easier.”

He explained that the issue is time sensitive due to the grant money available for the project, which if not used soon, will be withdrawn. As such, if My Mountain’s covenants do not allow change that accommodates the installation of the water storage facility or take an extended time to get signatures to make the appropriate changes, the county will shift its efforts to other parts of the county that are more accommodating.

“I do have a list of places where people have contacted me and they’d love for us to come,”

Queen said.

But, few options are left for Phase II residents like Dan Amoss. Amoss told FYN that the water in Phase II is deplorable and that certain well tests have returned dangerous levels of coliform and e-coli. The wells, he said, were installed in disregard to environmental regulations.

In the end, Queen said that he would have County Attorney Lynn Doss review the two My Mountain covenants and upon receiving her legal opinion, would forward the results to representatives of both My Mountain communities, at which point My Mountain residents and the county will render a decision, which may put the issue to rest.

“By the next meeting, we’ll know one way or another,”

Queen said.

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