Sewage Plant Expansion Cost Drops by $4 Million
Good news emerged from a smelly subject last week when the county commissioners learned that the estimated cost of the sewage treatment plant expansion has been reduced by almost $4 million.
The board voted unanimously in favor of a resolution approving an application for a $26 million low-interest loan from the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to proceed with the project.
Public Works Director Dennis Brobst told the board that the county is 60 percent complete on design work and the latest review indicates that the estimated construction cost may be reduced from $27.4 million to $23.5 million.
The total initial cost, including engineering, inspection, legal, administrative and related costs and contingency, was projected at $32,964,000.
"We're really hoping to keep that momentum going," Brobst said.
The loan, if approved by DENR as expected, would carry a 2.22 percent interest rate covering 20 years.
Brobst said he had received a favorable report from state officials, one of whom was quoted as saying "this will be one of the easier ones to approve."
In response to a question from board Chairman Tim Lea, Brobst said any rate increase should be minimal. Brobst went on to recommend that the question of rate changes be deferred until the bids are received and the picture is clearer about the overall expense of the project.
Commissioner Larry Caddell made the motion to adopt the resolution, Commissioner Jimmy Melton made the second, and approval was unanimous.
The plant is scheduled for expansion and upgrade because usage is nearing the capacity point, a level at which the owner, in this case the county, is required by state and federal law to proceed with plans to increase capacity.
Built in the late 1970s, the plant in the Addor community now serves the municipalities of Aberdeen, Carthage, Pinehurst and Southern Pines and outlying areas, including Camp Mackall.
In other business, the commissioners agreed to award the food products contract for the detention center to US Foodservice Inc. The $136,000 contract is for seven months and may be automatically renewed on a yearly basis for four years.
The board also approved an update in bylaws for the Emergency Services Advisory Committee, awarded contracts for housing rehabilitation projects through the 2009 Scattered Sites Housing Community Development Block Grant program, approved a series of budget amendments, and responded to a series of questions submitted by Barbara Schindler on subjects ranging from long-range planning to the size of the detention center soon to be constructed.
Contact Florence Gilkeson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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