Money Set Aside for Reservoir
The Southern Pines Town Council has set aside $150,000 toward construction of a new raw water reservoir.
The money comes from water impact fees collected by the town from tap-ons. It is set aside in a budget item to cover an environmental assessment required by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and review by state agencies, plus wetlands permits and some engineering design, according to a memo from Assistant Town Manager David White.
The council has discussed the need for a 160-million-gallon reservoir, estimated to cost $2 million to $3 million, for some time, since a severe drought in 2002 in which the town's normal water source, Drowning Creek, dried up. The town has a 20-million-gallon off-stream pond at its water treatment plant off U.S. 1 just south of Pinebluff, which at one time held enough surplus water to supply the town for several days, when the town was smaller.
Wheels were set in motion early on to acquire 60 acres in the same vicinity for storing raw water from Drowning Creek.
The town recently completed condemnation proceedings and has acquired the property.
In the wake of the 2002 drought, Southern Pines set up a connection with Aberdeen, which is supplied by wells. Aberdeen did not suffer a severe water shortage. Carthage was allowed to run a line down N.C. 22 from its Nicks Creek water intake to the old Southern Pines reservoir.
Southern Pines also reactivated some old wells and added to its water storage capacity.
The council adopted a resolution to set aside the money for the raw water reservoir during its regular monthly meeting Tuesday night.
Later in the meeting, during the public-comment period, the council heard from Fred Garrett, a former Sandhills Community College landscaping and horticultural education teacher, who repeated his earlier opposition to allowing a grocery store and shopping center on "the O'Malley" property at the corner of Airport Road and N.C. 22. The site is adjacent to the SCC Horticultural Gardens.
Garrett said that if another plan emerges to put a shopping center there, he would start a petition drive to oppose it. He said he could probably obtain thousands of signatures. He said he has heard rumors that something might happen.
A previous plan to build a Harris-Teeter center was withdrawn a couple of years ago after an uproar from residents who opposed it, including Garrett.
"I'm making a threat ... not a warning, that I will not be amused," Garrett said. "It's not the place to put a shopping center. I will be listening and several others will be listening."
Councilman David Woodruff volunteered that property owner John O'Malley approached him at a groundbreaking.
"He's anxious to do something with his property," Woodruff said.
Woodruff said O'Malley had spoken of building student housing, a bank or drug store on the property.
Mayor Frank Quis said someone may have confused the proposal with Food Lion's effort to obtain approval from Whispering Pines to build a store.
Harris Teeter had talked more recently with another property owner concerning a location on the opposite corner of Airport Road and N.C. 22, he said.
The Federal Aviation Admini-stration is requiring the Moore County Airport to realign part of N.C. 22 at the intersection with Airport Road for safety reasons. The present intersection is in the flight path of the runway.
The construction could begin this spring or summer, whenever the FAA releases the funds to pay a contractor.
Quis doubted any major anchor would sign a contract to build nearby as long as this road project is pending.
"The Town Council has unanimously supported SCC and to keep the property what SCC and the community would want, at a low density," he said.
Also during the public-comment period, Greg Zywocinski said the entire Southern Pines Appearance Commission dislikes the appearance of three options drawn by HSMM Architects of Charlotte as possible exterior appearances for the new police/municipal office building shown during an open house Dec. 4.
"I don't know of anyone who likes it," he said. "We need to get (back to) to square one in terms of exterior appearance."
Town Manager Reagan Parsons clarified that interior design programming has been completed, but no final decisions have been made on the exterior appearance.
In other business:
-- Following a public hearing at which no one spoke, the council unanimously adopted an ordinance amendment requiring that temporary signs must be at least 10 feet away from the edge of the pavement of a public road or street, or from the travel section of an unpaved road, to avoid illegally placing them on a public right of way.
-- The council approved an architectural review of a set of retail shops off U.S. 15-501 near Tripps and Chick-fil-A.
Sara Lindau can be reached at 693-2473 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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