Local News

Rolesville, Raleigh mayors exchange words over water

Posted May 29, 2008
Updated May 30, 2008

— The mayor of Wake County's smallest town is questionintg how Raleigh allocates water to smaller, neighboring towns.

Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles said Thursday that Raleigh often acts more as a controller of water to the six Wake towns whose water systems it runs, rather than as the operator of those systems.

"I think if Rolesville had to do it over again, we would think real seriously about doing the merger agreement with Raleigh," Eagles said.

The Rolesville mayor said customers on Raleigh's water system need to have more input in how they are allowed  to use water. The six towns must operate under water restrictions that Raleigh's city government determines.

Rolesville is expected to have tremendous growth – some estimates have its population tripling in the next three to five years – and the town needs the flexibility to deal with that growth, its mayor said.

"We want to grow, and Raleigh is actually restricting our growth," Eagles said.

The town and city clashed over water in 2006, when Raleigh told Rolesville it could not extend water lines to the Lakes of Rolesville, a new subdivision about a mile north of town.

Raleigh officials said they blocked the move because  the subdivision lies within the Little River watershed, where they are trying to discourage growth to protect the water quality. Extending water lines there would encourage growth, they said.

"When it comes to protection of our watershed and our water supplies, Raleigh's not going to be pushed around," Raleigh Mayor Charles Meeker said.

Meeker pointed out that the smaller towns also have an incentive to protect the Little River watershed: A planned reservoir there could add 20 million gallons a day to Raleigh's water system.

Joe Bryan, the chair of the Wake County commissioners, said he believes the dispute stems from a perceived disconnect among some of Raleigh's water customers.

"They just kind of want a place at the table," Bryan said.

Meeker said that the city is always ready to listen and that if other towns feel as if their partnership with Raleigh has been damaged, the city wants to fix it.

Eagle said his town could look to Franklin County as a future water provider if the municipality's differences are not worked out.


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  • Sarge May 30, 2008

    When ya'll move here, bring water with ya!

  • wiseowl May 30, 2008

    " Meeker again shows his incompetence in not focusing on the real problem which is building enough reservoirs and water treatment plants rather than finding ways to restrict use. Wake co. population has tripled in the past 30 yrs but reservoir capacity has not. The so called water shortage is due to lack of competent government. Build the Little River Reservoirs and others, put in municipal wells . Vote out incompetent political hacks like Meeker. Vote out the corrupt political machine in Raleigh. Vote!"

    didn't you read the article? that's exactly why he's not allowing the development - so the reservoir can go there.

  • Bodhi126 May 30, 2008

    They may turn to another county for water?? PLEASE DO!!! We can't even keep enough water for one season. PLEASE find another source, that would help both communities. That and if people stopped OVER watering thier lawns.

  • RocknRollDoctor May 30, 2008

    It's time for all Wake county municipalities to put imaginary in-fill zoning walls around their communities and stop sprawling out across the landscape. America in general has a real sprawl problem that cost tax payers billions upon billions every year.

    And for the last time, get busy fixing the water problem and quit placing the blame on citizens and, as we now see, strong arming certain portions of the system.

  • A_Patriot May 30, 2008

    What needs to happen is for the City of Raleigh to get out of the water business. The moment Rolesville and Wake Forest were assimilated was the moment they lost control of their respective destinies.

    Instead, a Wake County Public Works Department should be created to take over operations for Raleigh, Rolesville, Wake Forest and ultimately the entire county.

    While I'm NOT for more/bigger government, it's the same argument for power - fewer/larger utilities instead of many/smaller ones. The issue here is the innate conflict of interest between the city of Raleigh and the other towns.

  • whatelseisnew May 30, 2008

    bluewater - Don't you mean save it for the jet-setting, brain-dead libs at the yacht club? The ones that would have the government control every aspect of your life, knowing full well they have the wealth to avoid the crushing load of government regs?

  • Adelinthe May 30, 2008

    Well, if you choose to dance with the devil...which they didn't have to, but did.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • TheWB May 30, 2008

    Why does this quaint town want to grow? Why does it want to build and congest? If it was me I'd fight to stay small and easily controllable, instead of adding headaches. I guess it is true about power and the allure it has, that causes people like the mayor Rolesville, to want to reign over more and more people.

  • ncguy May 30, 2008

    Rolesville Mayor Frank Eagles- get over it and build your own water shed.

  • USA May 30, 2008

    Mayor Meeker, the Mayor of one city, now controls the growth of all cities and towns that connect to Raleigh's water supply. Think about that for just a minute. One Mayor should not have that much power.