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Large crowd expected at Kerr reservoir symposium

CLARKSVILLE — Officials in Clarksville are expecting a large turnout for Thursday’s Symposium on Kerr Reservoir.  Pre-registrations have been numerous for the one-day educational session to be held at the Community Center starting at 8:30 a.m., according to officials. Those who wish to attend the event are asked to pre-register allowing organizers to finalize plans for lunch, refreshments and meeting materials.

“Plans for the program are complete,” according to Charles Lee, chair of the program, adding “The intent of the planning committee, who organized the event, is to provide a local opportunity for interested citizens, public officials, and others to better understand why the reservoir is managed the way it is, and how the responsible authorities plan to deal with increased demands for water in the Roanoke Basin and beyond, while sustaining its other benefits.

Information also will be provided about how citizens’ groups in the area can influence the management of the Reservoir.  An informed public can also be effective in maintaining public support to preserve the multiple benefits that are so vital to the economic and environmental welfare of lake communities such as Clarksville.

Speakers for the event include Steve Cone,  Corps of Engineers authority on water supply  policies and practices; Richard Whisnant, natural resources attorney with the Institute of government;  Tom Reeder, director of the North Carolina Division of water resources; Scott Kudlas, director, Office of Surface and Groundwater Supply Planning, State of Virginia; Allen Piner,  Wilmington District Corps of Engineers; Tony Young, chief of Water Management for the Corps Wilmington District.

In addition, representatives of three citizen’s groups will share their roles in keeping users informed about proposed changes in management practices, and their process for providing organized input to the Corps and other governmental agencies about the impacts of proposed changes.

During the lunch break, attendees will be briefed on the origin and history of the Reservoir by local Park Ranger Sherrie Storm.