County Approves New Contract to Purchase More S.P. Water
In a speedy vote Monday night, the Moore County Board of Commissioners agreed to add a half-million gallons to the county’s daily water capacity.
The board voted unanimously to approve a new water purchase contract with Southern Pines. The rate remains $2.10 per 1,000 gallons.
“This is by far the best water purchase contract we have,” said Public Works Director Dennis Brobst in bringing his recommendations to the commissioners.
Brobst said he based his comment on water purchase contracts with Harnett and Chatham counties and the town of Aberdeen.
Under the present contract, the county may buy up to a maximum of 250,000 gallons per day. The new contract provides for a minimum purchase of 300,000 gallons a day up to a maximum of 750,000 gallons. Brobst recommended that the county change the maximum to 1 million gallons.
At the $2.10 rate, a minimum of 300,000 gallons a day would cost a minimum of $224,280 a year, he said. If the county exceeds the maximum usage, the rate per 1,000 gallons doubles under the present contract.
“That’s at least half a million gallons more capacity than we had yesterday,” Commissioner Nick Picerno said.
Commissioner Jimmy Melton made the motion to approve the contract, with Picerno offering the second. The contract is subject to approval by the Southern Pines Town Council.
In other business related to public utilities, the commissioners approved a $1,127,000 contract with Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates for the design, permitting and geotechnical portions of the wastewater treatment plant expansion project. The board also adopted a resolution exempting the contract from the qualifications-based selection process in approving professional engineering contracts.
The contract will move the county ahead on a planned expansion and upgrade of the wastewater treatment plant at Addor, owned and operated by the county to serve Southern Pines, Pinehurst, Aberdeen and other communities.
Initially estimated to cost $40 million, the price tag of the plant expansion and upgrade has dropped in recent weeks to $32 million, and the county has the prospect of securing grants and low-interest loans to move ahead. Under state law, the owner and operator of sewer treatment plants is required to begin planning for enlargement when capacity reaches 80 percent and to begin work on the upgrade when it reaches 90 percent.
The next phases of the upgrade project will be the awarding of contracts for engineering services for actual construction and related services. That contract was not included in the board’s action Monday night.
The commissioners also authorized the Public Works Department to send each municipal customer a contract for treatment and disposal of water through the plant. This is separate from the upgrade engineering contract.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at (910) 693-2479 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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