News from the Tennessee Valley Opinion
SUNDAY, JULY 23, 2006


Here’s another plum to sell BRAC prospects

Local officials might have offered government employees being displaced by the Base Realignment and Closure program a drink of good water when they went to Virginia last week on a recruiting trip.

Given the heat wave and drought conditions sweeping the country, hearing about Decatur's abundant supply of water might have sounded good.

Some 1,500 Army Materiel Command jobs are transferring to Redstone Arsenal from Ft. Belvoir.

Decatur is nowhere near reaching capacity water production. For instance, in June, Decatur Utilities pumped 34 million gallons per day and is averaging about 35 million gallons per day this month.

But that's still only about half of the total DU is capable of supplying.

Meanwhile, down Interstate 65 in Birmingham, people are being told to stand by and watch their lawns turn brown because the city is in danger of running out of water.

For a variety of reasons, one of them being successful long-range planning, Decatur is the envy of many cities that face water shortages. While our supply is never in question, gauging when to bring new treatment plants on line and having the ability to pay for them is why the city has no shortage.

Some residents here are grumbling at the mention of a water-rate hike but they would be unhappier if they couldn't water lawns and wash cars.

So, in addition to having the prestigious International Baccalaureate diploma program in city schools, lower cost of living and less traffic, Decatur will let residents water their lawn.

That's a good deal here late in July when even the giant oaks are begging for a drink.

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