The legal battle over a proposed earthen dam at Ragged Mountain was back in Albemarle County court Thursday. It all deals with millions of dollars in bonds the Rivanna Water and Sewer Authority (RWSA) needs before construction can start.
That hearing wrapped up at around 5 p.m. in Albemarle County Circuit Court. RWSA Executive Director Tom Frederick laid out his reasons why Judge Cheryl Higgins should validate about $31 millions in bonds, but no decision was made Thursday.
In court, Frederick handed over a stack of regulatory paperwork, showing complete approval to build the dam. It was a laundry list of permits from state and federal agencies. All this was to show that the RWSA has overwhelming support to build the dam and should be granted those bonds.
Anti-dam activists were also in court. They say all those permits don't mean a thing. They say it's up to the General Assembly to explicitly approve this.
Bob Fenwick, an opponent of the dam, said, "The other side has a lot of money to spend to lobby Richmond. They have a lot of money to spend on attorneys and this is really the first time that the city and the county have been challenged in court."
Frederick declined to speak on camera Thursday, he said out of respect for the judicial process. He also says he doesn't believe the RWSA needs to wait for that May 18 decision before moving forward with construction.
In court, Judge Higgins also consolidated two separate lawsuits filed by anti-dam activists. One was file in Charlottesville, and the other in Albemarle County.
A decision on whether to validate those bonds is expected May 18.
Derick Waller joined the NBC 29 news team in August, 2010. Prior to this, Derick graduated with degrees in both broadcast journalism and political science from Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond. Email/Follow on Twitter/ Full Story