letter to the editor

FUD restriction request is ‘management of growth’

I have read recent Letters to the Editor regarding the latest announcements by (First Utility District) requesting restricted use of residential sprinklers. One side has criticized the use of water rationing and wonders why the county and city cannot work with that utility company to control water demand.

Another person writes in and states that water rationing is part of being a good neighbor and supports community growth.

The issue is much, much larger.

The issue is the management of growth, or in this case, sprawl. There is not much in the way of managed growth that I have observed in my 20-year tenure in the area. In addition, the grid sprawl manifests itself in ways other than calls for water rationing.

The sprawl impacts these grid components as well:

• increased traffic on already crowded roads and highways, which leads to more maintenance costs and accident incidence; • increased stoplights resulting in longer times to make a trip;

• additional demand placed on water and sewage treatment systems; • additional demand placed on natural gas lines; • additional demand placed on the electrical grid;

• increased demand placed on the internet; • increased price per acre cost for property;

• ever smaller lots for homes, etc.; • and finally, more pollution.

All these things have the potential to, or are, eroding the quality of life for existing residents of Knox area neighborhoods, precincts, districts, county etc. Our County Commissioners have an obligation to protect our neighborhoods, precincts, districts, county and plan to allow organized, logical and methodical growth without allowing the grid components to deteriorate. I have yet to see that managed. …

Of course, additional people mean additional schools and hospitals, grocery stores, etc. to service their needs.

The whole issue appears to be driven by one thing: lust for tax base.

In the media it is disguised as opening up for opportunity. Unfortunately, it means utility services that earlier “settlers” count on continue to decline in performance, hence the recent call for rationing water. Performance will continue to decline for all utilities as supply is swallowed by ever increasing demand until the brakes are put on this development expansion.

Or as an alternative: let every new development pay to study, assess, and upgrade the grid components such that heir proposed impact of additional customers can be easily absorbed before the developments are allowed to break ground.

Make the developers accountable to at least maintain or improve grid performance. That way no harm is done to the existing settlers and the new ones can enjoy what older ones have. And everyone is happy.

J M Coppala,

Southwest Knox County