By Sean Tubbs

Charlottesville Tomorrow

Monday, May 18, 2009

The

Albemarle County Service Authority

(ACSA) has sent a letter to the

Charlottesville City Council

explaining the reasons why its Board of Directors cannot fully support the cost of performing a series of dredging feasibility studies.

The letter, dated May 15, 2009

, is the latest in a series of communications from the ACSA to Council regarding the potential dredging of the South Fork Rivanna Reservoir to restore the water storage capacity that has been lost due to siltation since construction in 1966.

The letter was discussed at a special meeting of the ACSA Board on May 14, 2009. The audio of the meeting was provided to Charlottesville Tomorrow by the ACSA. The draft RFP will be discussed by the

Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority

at its meeting this afternoon.


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“The Scope of Services detailed in the draft RFP for the Dredging Feasibility Study is more comprehensive and costly than is necessary for implementation of the approved community water supply plan,” wrote Executive Director Gary Fern. “We do not believe our ratepayers should bear the cost of this study.”

However, the letter goes on to say that the ACSA would benefit from a bathymetric study, which would yield more information on stream-flow releases. The ACSA would use this information to make sure it and the RWSA are compliant with the permits issues by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The letter states that the ACSA would benefit from a study of whether forebays in the South Fork Rivanna River would help prevent future sedimentation.

The scope of services called for in the draft RFP that the ACSA deems unnecessary include:

The letter acknowledges City Council’s desire to see the entire set of studies completed, and encourages the City of Charlottesville to pay for those studies it deems essential. The letter also contains the Board’s reasons for supporting the construction of a new dam at the Ragged Mountain Reservoir.

One of the ACSA Board Members, Jim Colbaugh (Scottsville), seemed to support the pursuit of the full scope of services called for in the RFP.

“The one thing I think that will come out if you do a full study will be a revised cost estimate [for dredging],” Colbaugh said. “And that’s something the Councilors are after.”


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