T. Boone Pickens says that "water is the new oil" and he should know, as he has put his money into major water infrastructure investments. Why is the Hall County Reservoirs issue important for everyone to understand? The reason is how much this will cost in property taxes.
With a broke county government that signed our water assets away to the city of Gainesville in 2006, the average working Hall County taxpayer should think twice about the scare tactics being employed by the insiders. Glades Reservoir will costs $355 million, and Cedar Creek costs $20 million just to build the lakes.
What is not being talked about is the big expense and engineering problems building the pipelines needed to pump and deliver the water. Those costs are off the chart and will be passed on to you, the taxpayers. Another expense will be the legal costs incurred by the county to defend against groups raising funds to stop this government waste. Guess who will be responsible for these additional expenses? Of course, you, the county taxpayers.
There are a number of players lined up to create their own T. Boone Pickens experience, and the Chamber of Commerce of Hall County is pushing with all their power. If all we are doing is helping developers build the next "Reynolds Plantation" in North Hall, then the insiders should just admit that is the reason for the lakes. Once the truth is out in the open, let the voters decide if they want to pay for someone else's lakeview home with county and state bond debt.
Why can't we save and pay cash later if the water is not needed for 30 years? Warning: I asked that question and got a giggle from the local official stating "governments just don't work that way anymore."
One final note: The county built a sanitary sewage system in South Hall under the government guise and scare tactic that we have to plan and be prepared for future development. Well guess what? The development didn't come as planned. Now those on this system may be stuck paying a huge bond bill because paying off the debt is coming due in 2013. Without enough users, their rates could double or worse.
Of course, the county could just roll the debt out to the next generation. This sneaky tactic would take the pressure off those responsible for this debt and the debt for the reservoirs because they will be long gone when it hits our children and grandchildren.
We all need to be as concerned about the use of taxpayers money for these public/private water issues, as it could be very costly to everyone in the county.