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Your Views: Reservoir plan is built on shaky assumptions
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Letters note
The Times will not publish letters concerning the upcoming SPLOST election after March 13 to avoid the last minute introduction of issues into the debate that time would not allow to be thoroughly examined. To be confirmed in time for publication, they should be received by Tuesday, March 10. Also note that beginning April 1, letters from an individual writer may run no more than once a month to allow more diversity of opinions from different readers. 

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Let me see if I'm understanding this correctly: The plans for a new reservoir were approved by a lame-duck Army employee at a closed-door meeting lasting only an hour and limited to politicians, a consultant for the project and lawyers for the project and the landowners, all of whom favor the project.

And the permitting process is to be expedited, even though Hall County has owned the land for seven years.

And even though the federal authorities who would have to approve it have indicated they have reservations about the plan to transport water from the reservoir to the water system intake via Lake Lanier.

And even though Rep. Nathan Deal acknowledges we might therefore end up with a reservoir full of water and no permit to transport it.

When we already have the Cedar Creek reservoir, which was built over a decade ago, but produces no water at all for the water system, though an intake was built for that purpose. But nobody took into consideration the ban on transporting water from one watershed to another. And we hope to avoid the cost of pumping it, which is exactly what we plan to do with water from the new reservoir if the plan to transport it to the intake via Lake Lanier is rejected.

Unless, as was done with Cedar Creek, the water just stays in the reservoir.

It would be near not one but two recently-approved, major mixed-use developments owned by the same folks who sold the reservoir property to the county and who still own the land around the proposed reservoir. They would "operate" the reservoir until "a later date" when "operational transfer" to the county could take place and water made available. Which "could take place as soon as 2020."

Is that about it?

Richard C. "Rick" Bellows

Deal is off base in decrying push toward renewable energy
Rep. Nathan Deal should be called out on his observations to the gathering at the 2009 Regional Environmental and Safety Assembly, reported in The Times, Saturday ("Deal: Energy bills bad news for Southeast").

He whined, "The issue of renewable electricity standards will put the Southeast at a disadvantage because we don't have many renewables."

Unfortunately, they don't consider nuclear in the mix, even though it is noncarbon polluting. The fact is nuclear power plants produce profoundly polluting radioactive waste and are inherently dangerous because of the potential widespread lasting devastation that results from inevitable hardware and human failures.

Deal should apologize for his and his party's chronic dereliction of responsibility to advocate for the welfare of their constituents. The Sun Belt should surely be a major source for solar power generation. Furthermore, the design and manufacturing of other alternative energy hardware does not require a close-by source.

The explanation does not lie in discrimination against the South, but rather in government officials pandering to their nuclear industry patrons, thereby excluding development of other energy sources. Georgia government officials and businesses should years ago have been forward-thinking in encouraging and supporting job producing industries to develop safe and independent sources of energy.

Instead, just last Friday, the Georgia House followed the lead of the Senate and passed a measure allowing Georgia Power to raise electricity rates on its customers in order to finance two new reactors at Plant Vogtle near Augusta. Consumers will have no alternative but to fund the expensive and risky development. (Kudos to Rep. Carl Rogers, R-Gainesville, for opposing the bill.)

Also, especially provoking locally is the failure of the Georgia delegation to Congress to protect Lake Lanier in the service of providing water to down river nuclear plants.

W. Lorraine Watkins

SPLOST choice: We can pay a little now or a lot later
In regard to this ongoing SPLOST referendum, I think people need to stand back and use a little common sense here. Would you rather pay a few cents here and there under a sales tax, or would you prefer to pay it all at one time on your property tax bill?

If you're like me, you'll take the sales tax. That's why I'm voting "yes" for SPLOST.

Kevin Kanieski