Water Authority votes to move proposed water intake facility

(Photo of Chief Kenneth Branham of the Monacan Indian Nation addressing the JWRC.)

The James River Water Authority voted unanimously today (March 16) to move the site of a proposed water intake facility from Rassawek, the historic capital of the Monacan Indian Nation, farther up the James River.
The project has been fraught with controversy as the Monacan Indian Nation, Cultural Heritage Partners, and other historic preservation organizations argued against locating the proposed intake, designed to deliver water to the rapidly developing Zion Crossroads area, on the culturally and historically significant site.

Ultimately, the JRWA paused their permit application with the Army Corps Engineers and worked in collaboration with the Monacan Indian Nation and Cultural Heritage Partners to arrive at a mutually approved location.
With today’s vote, the permit application processes and much of the design work begins anew.
“We appreciate your following through on your word and looking at this alternate route,” said Chief Branham as he addressed the JRWA. He added that he was relieved that no indications of burials were found. The chief described the process as a “long road with a lot of pain, distrust, and disagreement,” and added that he is glad all are now moving forward in a “spirit of cooperation.”

JRWA Chair D. D. Watson said ahead of the vote that it was always the intent of JRWA to make Louisa and Fluvanna counties “both proud of our work” and added that mistakes were made, but they were not final “until they are left, and we have chosen not to leave them.”
The Fluvanna Historical Society sent a letter of support for the alternate location to the JRWA ahead of the meeting.
There is currently no estimate for the completion of the project.

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