A STAR IS BORN
Once upon a time–when life was simple and with considerably less complicated lifestyles—there was a small community of individuals who enjoyed living in their peaceful country settings among acres of rolling-meadows, orchards, lakes and woodlands.
The world all around was hustling and bustling with inventions such as the audio cassette and the first video games, while computer languages were being written. Popular trends were bell-bottoms, lava lamps, mini-skirts, tie dye t-shirts, banana bicycle seats, and the Beatles. Everyone was running around saying “groovy” and then there was the “smiley face.”
Trends were not foremost on the minds of many inhabitants of this remote rural area. Their primary concern was to bring clean safe drinking water to their families and to their neighbors’ families. Their primary source of water came from cisterns and wells, and for some folks from a lake or a creek or a pond. There were the few who hauled water to their homes from other water Districts, which was borderline a luxury. The area in which they resided was not annexed in any of the surrounding water districts, negating any possibility of future water service.
Among those concerned citizens was one particular man who decided it was time to take action. “If no other District can provide us with water, then we’ll start our own.” I have no idea if those were Wayman Presley’s exact words, but close enough. Wayman, with the assistance of other concerned individuals in the community, began the long and tedious process of creating something out of nothing. Applications and signatures. Engineers, attorneys, and bankers. Public notices, petitions, and court hearings. The origination of District Ordinances and appointment of Board Members. Easements, easements, and more easements. Drawings and construction permits, followed my miles and miles of water line. Water meters and most importantly, the water tower.
I, personally, would have loved to have sat at the conference table as these fine people debated not only the name of the water district but also how to paint the tower. It seems this decision should have come easy, but I imagine it was deliberated carefully as was all other aspects of this project. Specifics leading to this decision are unknown, but as the “smiley face” originated in the 1960’s and is still trending today, it was the obvious popular choice that would stand the test of time. The name of the District was given much thought as well. A special place remembered by many locals was the old Buncombe Schoolhouse, which stood on the southeast corner of McGuire and Rowan Roads in Makanda; thus giving name to the Buncombe Public Water District.
This process, commencing in late 1964, finally found its way to completion in the Jackson County Circuit Court of Law on September 18, 1974:
“The said Circuit Judge having read and considered said Petition and it appearing that the above described territory is contiguous to said Buncombe Public Water District, is not included in any public water district and is so situated that the extension of waterworks properties into said territory will be conducive to the preservation of public health, comfort, and convenience of such territory.”
Thus, the Buncombe Public Water District was born, which is not the END of the story but indeed the BEGINNING.
By Karen Colvin Dunn
BuncombePWD Mission Statement
“Our primary objective is to provide a safe and reliable water source for our customers”