Council hears sewer needs

ajames@newsobserver.comOctober 25, 2013 

— By 2020, Grifols will be responsible for 30 percent of the town’s sewer flow, according to a consulting firm that presented projections to the town council on Monday.

Grifols, a pharmaceutical company, is on U.S. 70 Business near Powhatan Road. Nearby is Novo Nordisk, another pharmaceutical company and another major employer in the area.

Jennifer Bell, project manager for design firm CH2M Hill, presented sewer-flow projections through 2035.

“The East Clayton industrial area has the potential to create a lot of flow in the future,” Bell said.

The town has its own sewage-treatment plant and is building a sewer line to Raleigh. Also, the town has access to Johnston County’s treatment plant in Smithfield.

That’s three treatment sources. Even so, the town might need to build a second treatment plant, Bell said, adding that the second plant would need to come online in 2020 or 2025. The plant would cost about $40 million.

Water fees change

The council is considering raising the water-capacity fee it charges developers for new projects.

Johnston County raised its water-capacity fee from $3 per gallon to $3.25 per gallon in July. The town is considering doing the same.

Developers pay the one-time fee for each gallon of water their project will use on a daily basis. The town uses the money to replace water capacity consumed by new development so that residents do not pay for that new demand.

The council will hold a public hearing on the proposed rate increase on Nov. 4.

Greenway could grow

Town planner David DeYoung presented plans for expanding Sam’s Branch Trail.

Sam’s Branch is a 1.2-mile trail that ends at O’Neil Street. The plan would extend the trail under O’Neil Street through a tunnel and continue on to Legend Park.

It would be possible with funding from the town and a federal grant. The federal grant would pay for 80 percent of the project.

At its meeting Monday, the council agreed to ask the N.C. Department of Transportation to design the trail extension. The plans will cost the town about $40,000.

Construction would likely begin in 2015. The whole project would cost about $1 million, with the town paying about $200,000.

Red and White store

The former Red and White grocery store on Front Street has escaped demolition again.

The building’s owner, Katie Smith, has agreed to sell the building to Randy Messick. Now the town will allow Messick to move forward with his plans for the building, sparing it from the wrecking ball.

The town will next meet with Messick’s financial backer.

“We feel a little more positive about it now,” said Town Manager Steve Biggs.

Other issues

Councilman Butch Lawter said he’s heard complaints about trash piling up on the greenway. The staff will look into it.

Councilman Michael Grannis brought up an issue in Riverwood. When school lets out, many kids walk down Athletic Club Boulevard to get to a crosswalk.

“I think it could be an accident waiting to happen,” Grannis said.

He said he’s contacted multiple parties from the school board to the Fred Smith Co., to see who is responsible for traffic safety in the area. Grannis said he has yet to find someone to take responsibility.

James: 919-553-7234

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