In addition to expanding its water supply, the
town of Pittsboro is also trying to figure out the best way to cleanse it of
unregulated, potentially dangerous contaminants. Last fall, Pittsboro hired engineering and
construction firm CDM Smith to complete a public water supply and treatment
expansion study. In an October memo, town engineer Elizabeth Goodson wrote that
Pittsboro’s current public water demand “is approximately 700,000 gallons per
day” but is estimated to grow to approximately 3 million gallons by 2020, 7
million by 2030 and 10 million by 2040. But in addition to increasing the quantity of drinking water, Pittsboro is also interested in improving the quality of it. While Town Manager Bryan Gruesbeck said the Pittsboro Water Treatment Plant meets state and federal standards, there are high levels of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances in the Haw River, from where the town’s water comes.
Finally, it’s here. The story you’ve all been waiting for. In March, we asked you all to vote for the question you wanted us to answer the most. It was a tight race, but one question asked by Mary Ann Woehrel came out on top with 37 votes out of 117 total: “What is the county doing to stop the silt pollution coming from the construction on 15-501 next to Fearrington Village?” You know how it goes.
The Pittsboro Board of Commissioners convened
for a meeting Monday night. Here’s what we learned. The board still hasn’t approved Chatham Park’s tree protection plan
Representatives from Chatham Park presented a
revised version of its tree protection plan, but the board ultimately decided
against voting to approve it or not. While several members said they
appreciated some of the changes to the plan that were made, a consensus was not
met and additional questions were raised. Moving forward, the board will hold a special
work session on Chatham Park’s tree protection plan on May 13 at 6 p.m. The
decision to hold the special work session was proposed by Mayor Cindy Perry
after Chatham Park representative Chuck Smith grew frustrated over the pace at
which the board has considered the tree protection plan.
As the Chatham Park development publicly shared plans with the Town of Pittsboro leadership, the development company is trying to even the debate with environmental groups looking to protect the tree population, which they say could be reduced to a minimum under the current plan. Environmental issues are a hot point of debate in the community, with parts of the discussion centering around the issue of tree protection in the Chatham Park development area. Another area of concern is protection of the Haw River. Continuing the back-and-forth of the debate, the Pittsboro Board of Commissioners scheduled a public workshop on March 18 to discuss the Chatham Park Tree Element. Chuck Smith is a representative for Preston Development Company, the development firm behind Chatham Park.
The QuestionChatham Arts Council board member Lesley Landis has lived in East Tennessee, Durham, and Chapel Hill, but none have had a creative culture like Chatham County. This realization led Landis to ask, “What accounts for the creative culture that Chatham is known for?”The AnswerArtistic expression has been present in Chatham County since the time when Native Americans lived in a swath of the county. Fragments of simple stamped pottery near the Haw River have suggested the art belonged to the Sissipahaw. Mandolin player Tony Williamson says he has found thousands of these pottery pieces on his farm. Williamson’s pottery
Williamson says his family has been in the rural Piedmont area since the 1700s, and attributes the creative culture in Chatham to the tradition and purpose of art in the past.