Albemarle City Council to join new water sharing consortium
Published 2:11 pm Wednesday, July 19, 2023
By a vote of 6-1, the Albemarle City Council recently agreed to join a new nonprofit water sharing consortium being formed from a group which Albemarle helped establish.
With Councilman Dr. Chris Bramlett voting against the resolution, the council approved the new bylaws for the Yadkin-Pee Dee Water Management Group.
Jay Voyles, director of public utilities, presented the item originally at the June 19 meeting to the council.
Albemarle was one of the founding members of the group, according to Voyles, in 2016, but the group now wants to go from a memo of understanding to a nonprofit corporation. The group’s mission, according to agenda notes from the June 19 meeting, “has been to pool resources for water management in the region and to locate opportunities for grants and funding for water management.”
Mayor pro tem Martha Sue Hall made the motion for the city to join the new consortium, seconded by Councilman Benton Dry.
In making the motion, Hall said, “I have done my homework … I feel like we have to get on the train because the train is probably going to leave the station and we need to be on it.”
Hall also said with a nonprofit reorganization of the group, there is “no one municipality that takes complete membership of it.”
Bramlett said the council would “look back and say, ‘We’ve made a terrible mistake.’ I’ve gone through this material. There is absolutely nothing in here which says [what] that group is going to do.”
He further asked why Charlotte, which he said was in the Catawba River Basin, wanted to be part of the Yadkin-Pee Dee consortium.
Bramlett said the city is “positioned better than any county in North Carolina, along a waterway which is the largest in America which does not have a major population center on it … and I guarantee you, we’re giving it away tonight.”