Moore Spends $25 Million On Utility Work in Five Years
Between 2003 and 2008, Moore County Public Works poured more than $25 million into 26 major capital projects for utilities stretching from Seven Lakes and Pinehurst to the East Moore Water District and Vass.
Ben Vaughn, utility operations manager for Public Works, provided an item-by-item review of expenditures at a recent meeting of the Moore County Board of Commissioners.
In 2008 alone, capital projects amounted to $15,647,600, of which $10 million was designated for the second phase of the East Moore Water District. Another $1,176,000 was used to connect the East Moore system with the county system at Eastwood on U.S. 15-501 to serve Pinehurst.
The booster station on McCaskill Road for that interconnection cost $230,000.
Vaughn said the Public Works' engineering division provided project management on 25 of the 26 projects between 2003 and 2008.
Other 2008 projects were $1,080,000 for the Southern Pines No. 4 lift station replacement, $394,300 for the first three phases (of five) of the Lake Pinehurst sewer rehabilitation project, $358,000 for the Wastewater Treatment Plant line system upgrade, $280,000 for the Old Town (Pinehurst) sewer evaluation, $531,000 for the first three phases (of seven) for radio-read meters, $116,000 for the McGill water study, and $562,000 for the Seven Lakes tank interconnect main.
The rest was spent on such things as permanent generators, a sewer vacuum truck, lift station generators, and a utility boom truck.
Vaughn said that eight capital projects are currently under way throughout the system and seven proposed projects are in the planning stages for implementation within a matter of months.
Asked about the county's water and sewer rates by comparison with those in other counties, Vaughn said Moore County's rates are "about in the middle."
Vaughn said Public Works spent more than $4.8 million on utility projects during the 2003-2006 years. Among them was the first phase of the East Moore District, at a cost of $3.4 million, much of which was covered by a grant and low-interest rate loan allocated through the Rural Development Program of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
During those years, the county also worked on Pinehurst Well No. 22, the Pinehurst-Aberdeen interconnection, the $1 million water tank in Pinehurst's Cannon Park and chlorine analysis.
The county also spent $70,000 to buy three portable generators for the sewer system.
In 2007, the county spent $4.6 million on projects, including $2,150,000 for the influent pump station for the Wastewater Treatment Plant at Addor and $1,148,000 for the N.C. 211 water main. Other 2007 projects were water tank rehabilitation in Vass and Seven Lakes West, a lift station in Pinehurst, and a sewer camera trailer.
Questions and complaints were raised by officials from Pinehurst and Robbins at a previous meeting of the commissioners. Pinehurst residents complained that their water and sewer problems were not being sufficiently addressed. Robbins leaders said they are interested in selling water to the county if their water treatment plant and reservoir can be upgraded.
Representatives of the two municipalities attended the Monday meeting but did not engage in discussion of the report.
Water and sewer services are operated as enterprises, which means that they are self-supporting and do not use taxpayer money.
Operational revenues come from user fees and federal and state grants and loans. When loans are provided, the indebtedness is covered by user fees, as is the case in East Moore.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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