Oct 152007

s we have seen so often since this Commissioner majority took control, taxpayers again take a back seat as the location of the Weddington water tower is revisited less than a month after the board voted on the site selection. Water Tower near School

Lest we forget what the PAID consultant engineers said! Forget about the No.1 recommended site, Mecklenburg Senator Robert Pittenger’s property and lets ignore the No.2 site recommendation, Weddington Mayor Nancy Anderson’s property.

Lets go instead with Commissioner Parker Mills’ hand picked location, though it was not reviewed by the paid consultants. Forget how much more it costs, it’s just another example of those vaunted business decisions!

Water Tower – Part II

Even though the County Commissioners selected Site 1A last month, evidently Commissioner Parker Mills has other ideas about the water tower location and with this in mind, he made a pitch to the Union County Board of Education to place the Water Tower on the new elementary school site on Cox Road at Weddington-Matthews Road.

On Oct. 2nd, the badgered school board voted 6-3, to allow Public Works Department to utiltize a back corner of the school property for the water tower as requested.

The Enquirer Journal: School board OKs water tower site

There was NO public hearing by the School Board, not a single parent was allowed to express their views on a decision that not only sets a new precedent, as school property now is fair game for Union County Public Works projects, like pump stations, holding tanks, and substations. If there is logic for monstrous use like a 1,500,000 gallon, 853 foot water tower, then any lessor use should be OKed without a whimper. Shame on the School Board for allowing themselves to be bullied.

$1.3 million more — but who cares?

The estimates revealed by Mr. Mills is that the cost of implementing the water tower at the Cox Road site is $1.3 million more than building than on Site 1, (Senator Pittengers property). Frankly, I’d like to see an independent assessment of the site and the costs associated with building the tower on that location.

Finally, I would really like to hear a rationalization as why the nine assessed site locations were inadequate and the Mills’ Cox Road site is a better deal at $1.3 million or more. Don’t worry, I won’t hold my breath waiting.


At last night’s County Commissioners meeting, consideration of a new location was tabled until the next meeting. A number of citizens critical of the plan, spoke their minds during public comments.

 Posted by at 3:37 pm
Sep 212007

Water Tower Regardless of the issue, it seems that Union County’s ‘Developer-Friendly’ Commissioners find a way of placing needs of a fellow developer or club member ahead of taxpayers. The placement of the new water tower in Weddington is just another case in point.

Those of us with dead or dying lawns, shrubs and trees know first hand how the lack of water supply and infrastructure has adversely effected our homes. The current water restrictions is the result 20 million gallons a day (MGD) demand and a 18 MGD supply contract and a plumbing system that is barely adequate.

The envelope please!

This past Monday night, Union County Commissioners selected a site for the new Weddington water tower. The site they choose was not the consultant engineers first choice, nor was it their second choice.

It was obvious to those in the audience last Monday night, that Commissioner Mills favored the Reaview school site and later the Cox Road school site, which might be acceptable except those options come at millions more in cost to the taxpayers.

So in the end, the Board voted 3-2 for Site 1A, as recommended by the new Public Works Advisory Committee, when they reviewed the site choices earlier this summer.

Consultants Engineers: Site recommendations

Senator Pittenger need not worry

It was painfully apparent, that Commissioners Baucom, Mills and Pressley were dead set against entertaining the consultant engineers first choice for the tower. You would have thought it was radioactive. Chairman Pressley was quick to stifle the discussion as Mr. Openshaw revealed that the best site, was owned by a group led by Mecklenburg State Senator Robert Pittenger.

The good senator has been a very active land speculator in western Union County. One of the most lucrative was the satellite annexation into Waxhaw arranged by NC Legislature, so Senator Pittenger’s property would enjoy much higher home density than county zoning. That resulting ‘school busting’ development is known as Lawson. There are others.

Mr. Openshaw suggested that since the Senator has been so successful in Union County, perhaps his sense of civic responsibility would give him pause and he’d consider selling less than 3 acres of his 81 acre track to Citizens of Union County who so desperately need water.

The Senator, represented by his son, answered Mr. Openshaw’s interrogatory, stating that ALL the property was available for $300,000 per acre.

The reader should know that going rate for all the residentially zoned land for that area of western county is appoximately $100,000 per acre. Land specifically for commercial use goes for $300,000 an acre, so one could draw the conclusion that there is more to this story. 😉 In the ‘Developers’ paradise of Union County, there always is.

Water Tower Sites

It’s always easy to bully the little guy and a church

We’re told the property owner of Water Tower Site 1A, is not a ‘willing’ seller, so a condemnation lawsuit will be required to wrest this property away, unless facing the legal might of Union County is more persuasive.

That same hammer is evidentially less persuasive when opposed by a bigger hammer in Raleigh.

 Posted by at 7:49 pm