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How will water consortium help Danville?

August 31, 2003

Dear Editor:

Earlier this year, the Danville city commissioners voted to join the Bluegrass Water Consortium. A representative of the consortium made a short pitch and said the purpose of the consortium was to seek solutions to central Kentucky's water shortage. (Danville does not have a water shortage and is not likely to have one any time in the foreseeable future.) The commissioners immediately voted to join the consortium without any discussion of the merits, if there are any, or the ramification of membership.

The consortium representative did say that a water grid was being considered similar to electric power grids. Mayor Bowling asked if this meant that Danville could sell water on the grid. The answer was "yes."

This causes me great concern, especially when I read in Wednesday's Advocate that the commissioners are already planning to sell excess treated water. Why would we want to sell our water and possibly short-supply ourselves? We all know what happened with respect to the northeast power grid a couple of weeks ago. Could this happen with a water grid, i.e.. no water?

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Maybe the commissioners know, but the public has not been informed as to the obligations Danville will incur by joining the consortium. Some questions the public needs answers to are:

* Can we get out of this organization anytime without any obligations?

* If a grid is established, would there be controls to prevent one city buying water from another, marking up the price and reselling it, thus driving up the price as was done in California during its electric shortages a couple of years ago?

* Would members of the consortium be required to sell water on the grid whether they wanted to or not and would the price be fixed to prevent profit gouging?

* Why would Danville want to tie itself to such an organization?

Danville is sitting on a water gold mine, Herrington Lake. The only city that I see to benefit from this type of arrangement is Lexington. If permitted, Lexington could drain our lake.

The bottom line is, we need more information. If the Danville city commissioners have this kind of information, they need to inform the public. Consortium meetings, discussions and positions taken by our commissioners need to be reported to the public. This smells like something that benefits only Lexington.

Ernie Moore

Danville

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