Maverick Farms and DOT threats – February 26, 2013

update 2/26/2013

Dear friends of Maverick Farms,

On Monday afternoon (2/25/13), we had our first face to-face meeting with with the NC Dept of Transportation (DOT). Two officials, Mike Pettyjohn (North Wilkesboro) and Ivan Dishman (Boone) visited the farm. Maverick Farms executive director Hillary Wilson, her partner, farmer Worth Kimmel, and, co-landowner Bill Wilson, attended the meeting, along with Chapel Hill environmental attorney John Runkle.

The meeting was neither good nor bad. On the plus side, the DOT announced it will not actually be making a take-it-or-leave offer next week, as they told us three weeks ago. Instead, they said they will “look into alternatives” and get back to us “soon.” The engineers made clear that this decision to delay the proceedings was a result of public pressure brought to bear by our supporters. This is a clear victory—THANKS TO YOU, our supporters!

But the engineers added that the bridges on the road that run through our farm are “functionally obsolete and structurally deficient” simply because they are one-lane bridges. We dispute this assessment—the bridges can handle a reasonable amount of traffic as long as they are properly maintained. Worse still, they claimed the DOT no longer builds one-way bridges. The implication: the bridges must not only be replaced—meaning that a new road must be routed through our fields, since the road dead-ends—and must also be expanded dramatically, and tricked out with large culverts.

In short, the DOT wants to spend $820,000 to destroy the farm. The only hope we have is to continue the pressure on these people until they find some alternatives.

SEND LETTERS TO:

Ivan Dishman – division of highways

PO Box 1460

Boone, NC 28607

Mike Pettyjohn

PO Box 250

North Wilkesboro, NC 28659

James Palermo  District 11 DOT

C/O Division 11 DOT

Box 250

North Wilkesboro, NC 28659

Anthony Tata, NC Secretary of Transportation

1501 MAIL SERVICE CENTER (MAIL)

RALEIGH NC 27699-1501

Nathan Miller, Chairman Watauga County Board of Commissioners

814 West King Street, Suite 205

Boone, North Carolina 28607

Nathan.Miller@watgov.org

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