City, Army to discuss water Nov. 16

Henderson Mayor Clem Seifert announced at Monday night’s City Council meeting that he has a meeting scheduled with John Paul Woodly, an assistant secretary of the Army, regarding the city’s pending water storage contract with the Army Corps of Engineers.

The city and the Corps of Engineers disagree about how much Henderson should have to pay over 30 years to secure access to 20 million gallons a day of Kerr Lake water for the Regional Water System. The estimate is that the current price offered by the corps would raise the average water bill by 70 cents per month.

Seifert announced that he had received a call from Kareem Murphy of the Ferguson Group, a Washington, D.C., lobbying firm retained by Henderson, to inform him that Woodly had been deployed to New Orleans to deal with the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Still, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-Wilson, has arranged a meeting with Woodly in his Washington office.

Seifert said Rep. Bob Etheridge, D-Lillington, also will be at the meeting. Butterfield represents Henderson and the portions of Vance County north of the city; Etheridge represents the southern portion of the county.

The mayor said there is still a need to determine “who, what, when and where.” He said a strategy meeting will be held in the offices of the Ferguson Group on Nov. 15. The meeting with Woodly will be the next morning at 9.