Dillsboro dam debate rages on

A plan by Duke Energy to tear down the century-old Dillsboro dam drew a crowd of opponents to a public hearing last week held by the N.C. Division of Water Quality.

Jackson library to go atop courthouse hill

A decade of debate over where to build a new library in Jackson County was put to rest this week.

County commissioners voted 3-2 Monday night (Oct. 1) to build a new library next to the historic courthouse overlooking downtown Sylva. The vacant courthouse will be renovated in conjunction with the library addition. An architect will get to work immediately. Money for construction has been budgeted for 2008.

What’s in a permit?

Duke Energy must get a permit from the N.C. Division of Water Quality before it can tear down the Dillsboro dam.

There has been a good deal of confusion over whether the state already issued this permit or not — with Duke, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Jackson County’s lawyer and even the Division of Water Quality itself under oscillating assumptions as to whether a permit is still pending or has been issued.

Southern Loop opposition mounts

Jackson County residents opposed to the construction of the Southern Loop — a new major highway that would bisect Jackson County — are gearing up for a fight with the N.C. Department of Transportation to halt the slow but steady gears toward eventual construction.

Courthouse site doable for new Jackson library

Years of wrestling over a location for a new Jackson County library will come to a close next month.

Jackson County commissioners pledged to pick a site for a new library at their next meeting on Oct. 1. There are two main contenders: the hill behind the historic courthouse overlooking Main Street and a two-acre tract on the outskirts of town adjacent to the Jackson Plaza strip mall.

Southern Loop on priority list, committee says it wasn’t them

Jackson County leaders might be lending their tacit endorsement, albeit unintentionally, to the proposed Southern Loop, a controversial highway that would bisect Jackson County.

EDC says marketing study not worthwhile

An $18,000 marketing study conducted for Jackson County by consultants from Texas fell short of what the firm promised, according to members of the Jackson County Economic Development Commission.

So the economic development commission is asking for its money back.

Deed faux pas gives animal shelter to airport

Jackson County accidentally gave away the county’s animal shelter to the Jackson County Airport Authority 10 years ago, and now it wants it back.

The blunder was only recently discovered. The error dates back to 1998 when the county transferred both the management of the facility and the airport itself to the Jackson County Airport Authority, a separate entity from the county. The animal shelter is adjacent to the airport and was part of the same tract.

Duke tries to get out of dredging behind dam

Duke Power does not want to dredge backlogged sediment from behind the Dillsboro dam before tearing it down despite both state and federal agencies insisting otherwise.

Duke filed an appeal this week protesting a decision by the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission that requires Duke to dredge the sediment before it removes the dam. The energy commission granted Duke permission to tear down the Dillsboro dam last month, on the condition that it dredge sediment from behind the dam. Duke must develop a sediment removal plan in conjunction with state and federal environmental agencies, and the energy commission must sign off on it before dam removal can begin.

Hats off to Jackson County commissioners

Last week Jackson County commissioners passed what is being called the strongest set of development regulations in North Carolina. They’ve set a standard for other counties to follow, and we think they’ve accomplished this in a manner that won’t hurt the home-building industry that has become so important to Western North Carolina.

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