THE USGS WILL BE DOING A WATER STUDY IN MARK TWAIN AND THE HIGHLANDS BEGINNING IN JULY BUT HAVE TO FIND THE FUNDING….IF THE COMMISSIONERS CAN FIND MONEY FOR THE RECALL THEY SHOULD BE ABLE TO FIND THE MONEY TO DO THIS.
THE STRATEGIC PLAN SUMMARY OF COMMENTS IS OUT…..AND AMONG OTHER THINGS IT SEEMS LIKE THE BUSINESS COMMUNITY, TOURIST GARBAGE, PEOPLE WHO WORK AGAINST THE COUNTY AND OLD PEOPLE ARE DISLIKED BY SOME OF OUR COUNTY OFFICIALS.
By Nicole Barde
You can find the Agenda HERE.
There were only two items on the Agenda. The first item was a presentation by the USGS about the water situation in the Highlands and in Mark Twain. This was basically the same presentation given in the Commissioners meeting several months ago. I am providing the link HERE and I suggest that you review it, it is very detailed and informative.
Mark Twain seems to be relatively stable. There has only been a 3 foot decline in the water table since 2012. There are a couple of problem areas but nothing severe. There are 7 monitoring wells and the water table seems to recharge itself regularly based on the winters.
Meanwhile, the water table in the Highlands has been dropping precipitously during the last 20 years……165 feet since 1997. The graph in the presentation shows the correlation with the drought years but has no data to also correlate to the addition of new homes and more “straws” in the ground. Meaning, how much of the loss in water table is due mostly to weather conditions out of our control and how much due to too many wells? Regardless……we have a severe problem in the Highlands.
The only good news in this presentation compared to the last one presented at the Commission Meeting is that they have recently measured the effects of the winter storms and the water table in the Highlands has risen 20.8 feet since the beginning of winter in 2016. There are only two monitoring wells in the Highlands and they need more. There is a section in the presentation where they show where they believe the most negative impact has been, via a grid, and they are asking for volunteers to have their wells monitored in those areas. If you contacted them the last time they asked for volunteers we are all still on file and they will be selecting well sites in the July timeframe once the size of the study ,the costs and the source of the funds to pay for the study are determined. If they can find the funds for this recall then they can find the funds to do something truly productive and for the citizens.
The second agenda item was a brief “read out” of the data collected during the last Planning Commission meeting with regards to a Strategic Plan. As I mentioned in my report of that meeting the questions asked were around “what car, song, person is Storey County.” The results of that exercise is HERE.
When you read the responses remember that the room was full of Storey County elected officials and other county employees or volunteers. Hence the demographic was not representative of the entire county. Austin was only able to go over the first two questions,
Question 1: If your community were a person, what would it be like? and Question 2: If your community were a car, tell me about it. Meanwhile, I noted to Austin at the meeting that these summaries really told me nothing. As you read the summary remember that it is just a list of everybody’s answers it doesn’t necessarily tell you how many people made that comment.
Meanwhile I do find the answers to Question 3: What do you like about the organization (the Government of Storey) and Question 4: What do you dislike about the organization (the Government of Storey County) interesting. I can relate to and agree to many of the things listed in both questions…..I DO NOT agree with some of the responses in question #4 ……they are shocking coming from the people we have elected to represent us .