In a letter dated Sept 27th addressed to both Harold Bass, Chairman of the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners and Paul Gibson, Chairman of the Guilford County Board of Commissioners Mayor Festerman said the following (sorry but I could not reproduce a digital version of the original letter):
"Dear Harold: (or Dear Chairman Gibson almost identical letter see below)
On behalf of the Reidsville City Council and the City of Reidsville, I want to express our strong opposition to the proposed rezoning of the approximately 700 acres adjacent to the Haw River State Park on the Rockingham County-Guilford County line when it comes before the Rockingham County Commissioners. I'm sure you're very familiar with the issues so I won't take time to repeat those, but let me briefly say that our concerns are twofold.
First of all, as you know, tourism and eco-tourism have been identified as a major growth possibility for Rockingham County as we seek to rebuild our economy after the loss of so many textile and tobacco-related jobs. The Haw River State Park holds a great deal of promise to address this goal, and we have supported its development from the very beginning as I believe the Rockingham County Commissioners do. Anything that negatively impact both the present State Park and the possibility of its expansion cannot be good for Reidsville or Rockingham County.
Secondly, while we do not draw our public drinking water from the Haw River, we do discharge our wastewater into the Haw River at a point southeast of Reidsville. We relocated this discharge point approximately eight years ago out of concern for the ecology in Little Troublesome Creek and as a result of low flow in that stream. Our discharge limits at that point in the Haw River are very tight. Any diminished flow in the Haw River could have a devastating and costly effect on Reidsville's wastewater treatment plant operations. As we understand it, the proposed development could potentially draw 100,000 gallons a day out of the Haw River in order to water their golf course. I'm afraid this would just be the start of it, and it would lead to further withdrawals along the river that could severely affect the City.
We are all vitally concerned about what happens in Rockingham County. As elected officials, we are all concerned about the future of our citizens. I hope that you will take this into consideration and vote "no" on the proposed rezoning when it comes before the Rockingham County Board of Commissioners.
If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to give me a call.
James K. Festerman
City of Reidsville
cc: Tom Robinson, Rockingham County Manager"
1st paragraph of letter addressed to Chairman Gibson:
"On behalf of the Reidsville City Council and the City of Reidsville, let me express our strong opposition to the proposed rezoning of approximately 700 acres adjacent to the Haw River State Park on the Rockingham County-Guilford County line. I know tht you've received many contacts on both sides of this question, and I'm sure you are very familiar with the issues. I won't take the time to repeat those, but let me say that our concerns are twofold."
paragraph 2 and 3 are almost identical.
"We are vitally concerned about what happens in Guilford County as I know you are concerned about what happens in Rockingham County. As officials in neighboring counties, we both know the importance of strong, collaborative friendships as we seek to look after the futures of our citizens. I hope that you will take this into consideration and vote "no" on the proposed rezoning when it comes before you on Oct. 18th.
cc: W. David McNeill Jr., County Manager"