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Friday, November 30, 2018

Buckeye Reservoir Questions to Town Council

This is an email going around the town of Beech Mountain on our water situation. I wanted to share it with you in case you didn't see it. Big thanks to Urs for getting this moving for the December Town Council Meeting. If you are not on the email chain, let me know and I can forward email addresses.

As discussed with Renee, I have drafted a series of questions, attached, answers to which I believe are the minimum needed for taxpayers to have a better understanding of how this incident happened and how to prevent similar events. While I still believe an outside investigation is needed, I hope that these answers and the documentary evidence will
suffice. If any questions are unclear, please let me know. Urs

In order to better understand the facts and circumstances surrounding the loss of water at Buckeye Lake on November 20, 2018 and to ensure we are better prepared in the future, answers to the following questions are needed. In all cases, any documents supporting the relevant answers need to be provided. Any references to Town employees include contractors working for the Town under pre-existing contracts, such as contracts with West Consultants.

The Valve

1. When was the valve at issue installed?
2. What is the valve’s purpose?
3. What state or federal regulatory agencies have any jurisdiction over the valve or its functioning?
4. When was the last time, prior to the day of the incident, that the valve had been opened and closed?
5. What correspondence has the Town had in the past three years with any state or federal agencies about the valve?

The Dive Contract

1. What prompted the Town to contract with a dive company to inspect the valve?
2. Was there a Request for Proposal issued by the Town?
3. If so, describe the scope of work in the RFP.
4. How many bidders were there for the contract?
5. What was the scope of work in the final signed contract?
6. Who selected the contractor?
7. Was the contractor required to have general liability insurance?
8. When was the contract to be performed?
9. Who was to supervise the scope of work?
10. Was the contractor tasked to open and close the valve?
11. If so, was there any discussion about the possible adverse consequences to water levels at Buckeye Lake if the valve could not be closed?
12. Was there any discussion about using a coffer dam or other method to isolate the valve from the lake to facilitate inspection?

The Incident

1. What employees of the Town were present while the divers were at Buckeye Lake?
2. Describe, using eyewitness testimony, what occurred at Buckeye Lake on November 20, 2018, starting from when the divers arrived until the diver was rescued.
3. What, if any, instructions did the divers receive from any Town employee on November 20, 2018, prior to the diver’s leg becoming entangled?
4. Who decided to open the valve on November 20, 2018?
5. Was there any discussion on November 20 about the possible adverse consequences to Buckeye Lake levels if the valve could not be closed?
6. Was there an emergency plan in place in the event that the valve could not be closed?

Emergency Response

1. Did the Town have a written emergency plan to deal with a sudden loss of water at Buckeye Lake?
2. If so, was that plan executed?
3. If so, what were the parameters of that plan?
4. What was the total cost to the Town to supply water by tanker and to supply bottled water?
5. Has there been an after action meeting of Town employees about the incident and the response?
6. If so, what deficiencies were identified?
7. If so, what changes, if any, were proposed to any Town policies or emergency plans?

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