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Excerpt from Oral History Interview with Nancy Holt, October 27, 1985. Interview K-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) See Entire Interview >>

View of OWASA as apathetic to local residents' concerns

Despite the other viable alternatives, OWASA officials opted to build a reservoir in Cane Creek. Holt blames this OWASA's disregard on being obstinate and on their low opinion of Chapel Hill and Cane Creek residents.

Citing this Excerpt

Oral History Interview with Nancy Holt, October 27, 1985. Interview K-0010. Southern Oral History Program Collection (#4007) in the Southern Oral History Program Collection, Southern Historical Collection, Wilson Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Full Text of the Excerpt

FRANCES E. WEBB:
What do you know about the alternatives that they rejected?
NANCY HOLT:
They rejected the alternatives of the - using the Jordan as a water source. And I thought it was awfully arrogant. They said that the people of Chapel Hill were too good to drink the water out of there. Well they should - the people in Bynum ought to come over here and smacked 'em. Cause Bynum's been drinking it for damn years. The, the long-term planning should be communities pulling together and sharing resourses of a water supply. Not putting these random temporary water supplies in a community and destroying it. Just look what the Jordon - how many thousands of acres is available there. It's time for people to start, the planners, to start thinking in long-term instead of short-term. Now if this were - I think one of the reasons that everybody got so angry is that they made it blatantly clear that this was only a short-term water supply. They weren't even looking at it over the long haul at all. So you disrupt twenty year - I mean two hundred years of history, two hundred years of family farms for a temporary solution to a problem that has long-term ramifications. And they have not - they refused to look down the road at what their long-term needs were. And because of the delays in court and all, and our fighting back - now the Jordan is well able to supply the water to Chapel Hill. And I had heard something one time that Chapel Hill says now, now you just set - to the people at the Jordan - now you set aside so many million gallons of water because we may want it. After this? And it, it just seems like blatant disregard, for the people of Chapel Hill as well as the people from Cane Creek.
FRANCES E. WEBB:
What about the University Lake alternative?
NANCY HOLT:
The thing that really ticked me off about that is that some man offered to dredge it out, free, to get all the silt out. All he wanted was that silt. He offered to dredge University Lake so it could accomodate more water and therefore alleviate some of Chapel Hill's needs. Free. And he was turned down flat.
FRANCES E. WEBB:
Why, why do you think he was?
NANCY HOLT:
Because this was their plan. One of the things I've learned in business, and I've run across two other people like these folks - they don't hear anything except the things that they want to hear. It's tunnel vision at its finest. These are the people that you put in charge of projects. Because they don't hear any adverse reasoning; they don't hear anything else. If you went to a meeting with …