Roanoke County water tower comes down, officials call "win-win" - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Roanoke County water tower comes down, officials call "win-win" situation

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Crews have demolished an old water tower on South Peak in Roanoke County -- a move both developers and local water officials are calling a win-win situation.

Thursday marked the end of the road for the tower and the end of phase I on a multi-million dollar water improvement project.

"The objective was two-fold," said Will Holmes, Senior Vice President of Development and Construction for Smith / Packett, the development company behind South Peak.  "We wanted to provide water service for the South Peak development but also enhance the overall water system for the community."

When developers began working on South Peak, they knew they'd have to do some infrastructure work.  They went to the Western Virginia Water Authority, which saw an opportunity.  The Authority had wanted to make improvements to the water system in that area, but hadn't budgeted for it.

"It wasn't in our capital improvement plan to do right away," said Sarah Baumgardner, spokesperson for the Western Virginia Water Authority. 

So the two sides struck a deal -- if the developers made improvements to the water system, the Authority would let them tear down a water tower on the South Peak property, letting them use that space for future development.

"It's part of that partnership," said Holmes.  "We're gaining property and they're gaining improvements to the overall system, which will benefit the community."

"South Peak will be constructing that line and paying for that line," said Baumgardner.  "It will be no cost to our rate payers.  But it will benefit our customers."

The improvements South Peak is making will connect three of the Authority's largest reservoirs -- something the current system does not do.

"The reason we want that is if we need to make modifications or changes -- say we need to shut down Carvins Cove or Spring Hollow or even Crystal Spring, we can pull water from another source," said Baumgardner.  "And that means people have a primary source and a backup source."

The improvements are being done in two phases, the first of which is now complete.  Work on the second phase will continue through June of 2015.


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