Chamber Backs Water Proposals
The Moore County Chamber of Commerce this week came out in support of adopting the recommendations contained in the final water study report prepared by McGill and Associates.
In a call to action, the Chamber board urges Moore County and all other local governments to adopt the McGill recommendations and also encourages ongoing cooperation between municipalities to implement the recommendations.
Patrick Coughlin, president of the Chamber, said the McGill recommendations fit comfortably into the beliefs and goals already in place with the Chamber and that the Chamber leadership felt it was time for a strong endorsement.
"Everyone on the board and the committee thought the recommendations were very sound and made a lot of sense," Coughlin said. "We thought it was important for the Chamber of Commerce to be out front on these issues and to endorse the study."
The Chamber adds a further recommendation of its own. It calls for an interconnection between the East Moore Water District and the town of Carthage to provide additional emergency capacity.
"Such a connection could provide the county 350,000 gallons per day from the Carthage system," the Chamber statement says.
The East Moore system, which is administered by the county, is already connected to the county system on U.S. 15-501 at the McCaskill Road intersection in Eastwood. This interconnection enables the county to buy water from Harnett County to supplement service to Pinehurst by pumping water through East Moore district lines.
The Chamber endorsement represents the full force of its 800 members that includes businesses, institutions and other public and private entities across Moore County.
The McGill study, officially named the Moore County Water Source Evaluation and Plan, is a comprehensive study of water sources, needs and potential to serve the county, both residents and businesses, during the next 25 to 30 years. The study was commissioned under contract by local governments with the county and the municipalities of Aberdeen, Cameron, Carthage, Pinebluff, Robbins, Southern Pines, Foxfire, Pinehurst and Whispering Pines sharing the total cost of more than $100,000.
In the position paper, the Chamber emphasizes the importance of the growth projected as a result of the Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) at Fort Bragg.
"We must take the necessary steps today to prepare for that growth," the document says.
The position paper opens with the Chamber's belief that "a planned approach to replacing and expanding infrastructure is a vital component to economic growth and stability." That infrastructure encompasses transportation systems, schools, public facilities, storm and wastewater systems and potable water systems.
"Viable water, wastewater and storm water systems are critical to advancing commerce and community throughout the county," the position paper says. "These infrastructure issues have long been a focal point of the Chamber's Government Affairs Division."
The document quotes the Chamber's 2009 legislative agenda as saying that continuing technological innovations and efficiency are making the nation's air and water cleaner than in previous years. It goes on to say that the Chamber "believes that economic growth and environmental progress are complementary pursuits and that responsible business and environmental leaders can work together to ensure a healthy environment and economic growth."
The McGill report, a preliminary version of which was released early last year, includes 14 short-term recommendations along with three long-term recommendations. Two short-term items have already been completed and a third is under way. The final report was made public several weeks ago.
Among the recommendations are extending water service from Montgomery County to Seven Lakes along N.C. 211, reactivating the Robbins water treatment plant and extending water service from Robbins to Seven Lakes. Once water service is extended from Robbins to Seven Lakes, the report recommends extending water service from Seven Lakes to Foxfire Village.
Already under way is correction of a bottleneck that limits water flow between Southern Pines and Pinehurst. The county has a contract with Southern Pines to purchase water to supplement service in the Pinehurst area.
The McGill report recommends construction of an emergency interconnection with Pinebluff from Southern Pines and connection of the Sanford water system to the Cameron municipal system.
Local representatives are attending local meetings on inter-basin transfer regulations and are monitoring Laurinburg's study of Lumber River intake, which the study recommends.
The remaining short-term recommendations are: perform legal and technical review of all water purchase agreements; evaluate quantity of unaccounted for water in distribution systems, consider inter-basin transfer regulations in future of Vass wastewater treatment plant, promote and support wastewater reclamation and reuse systems and re-assess status of water resources in 2009.
The first long-term recommendation calls for construction of an intake on the Deep River and expansion of capacity of the Robbins water treatment plant to 3.5 million gallons a day. The second would increase capacity of the Southern Pines water treatment plant to 14 million gallons a day, and the final long-term recommendation is development of a partnership between the county and Southern Pines to serve the Pinehurst water system.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at 947-4962 or by e-mail at email@example.com.
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