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SUBJECT: Where are our elected representatives?
SaveHighRockLake.org is an organization of approximately 7000 recreational users of High Rock Lake (many being residents of Davidson or Rowan county) who look to our elected representatives to protect as well as enhance our lives, our jobs and the economic viability of our investments in businesses and/or real estate. We elected you to represent our interests and plan for the future of the areas we choose above all others to call home.
As a concerned citizen of Davidson county and a representative of many Rowan county residents, I am curious why no one has been attending any of the Alcoa relicensing IAG meetings? I was under the impression that the resolutions passed by both counties commissioners demonstrated your commitment to serve the needs of one of Davidson and Rowan county's largest assets.
The initial IAG meetings are very significant in that these are the meetings where everything that is going to be studied over the next two years is defined. If no one from our local government is there, there is no assurance that issues that are important to Davidson and Rowan county will be included. If these issues are not included in the studies, there will be no basis for considering them in future meetings or in the final decisions by FERC when the new license is issued. The impact to our counties in the future has the potential to be HUGE if our governmental officials are there to ensure every issue important to both counties is appropriately considered.
Many of us are participating to the fullest extent we are allowed to as Non Governmental Organizations but in reality we do not carry the clout and level of respect afforded official Governmental Organizations. We will be there for every meeting every month if possible but it is imperative we have our elected county officials there to ensure we achieve the highest level of success where Davidson county and Rowan county are concerned. As we do not have the same level of access to the wealth of economic information available to the county government, it is very difficult for us to effectively define the scope of the issues that would be beneficial to the county. We can argue increased tax base, improved ability to attract new industry, tourism and the potential for tourism related jobs as well as the potential for many small "lake related" businesses to be opened in the future. All of these issues are ultimately the domain of our county commissioners, the zoning, planning and economic development boards and our local governmental agencies as a whole.
With the appropriate level of participation we have the potential to get many issues we have fought for decades corrected. The Electric Consumers Protection Act of 1986 gives us much more leverage for consideration of the environment, recreation and local economic impact than we have ever had before. If we successfully lobby for changes beneficial to High Rock Lake there is absolutely no reason the areas surrounding it should not grow and flourish. High Rock Lake is the second largest lake in North Carolina and the potential to create an economic environment similar to that around Lake Norman rests squarely in your hands.
As the chairman of the board for SaveHighRockLake.org and a member of the High Rock Lake Coalition, I would like to encourage and request your participation in future IAG meetings to help ensure the continued growth and economic stability of both Rowan and Davidson counties.
Robert "Pete" Petree
P.O. Box 628
Southmont, NC 27351