Rehabilitation projects progressing on schedule

Feb. 18, 2014 @ 09:00 AM

On Monday, the Spindale Board of Commissioners spent a large portion of their regular meeting receiving updates and discussing the Wastewater Treatment Plant rehabilitation project, State Revolving Fund sewer rehabilitation project and Joint Sewer Study.

The Town of Spindale was awarded a $1 million grant in January through the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources' (NCDENR) Clean Water State Revolving Fund to assist with the town's $5 million rehabilitation project for the 40-year-old Wastewater Treatment Plant.

In addition to the $1 million grant, financing for the plant rehabilitation project as stated in the NCDENR application includes a $4 million loan to be financed at zero percent interest over 20 years, and $100,000 in closing costs to be paid by the town.

On Feb. 7, the town received a formal letter of intent to fund from the NCDENR, and commissioners and town staff held a series of information briefings to discuss the acceptance of the finance terms.

A schedule was included in the NCDENR letter, and the first milestone is the town's submission of the engineering report and environmental information document by June 2.

"There's a light at the end of the tunnel. According to the schedule provided, it gives us more time to act upon this project," said Town Manager Cameron McHargue. "One good aspect of the schedule is how the rehabilitation project will coincide with the Joint Sewer Study. Another good aspect is in terms of finances — by the time this rehabilitation project will happen, the town will be in a better position to absorb the costs once payments begin."

The tentative date for executing the construction contract(s) is Feb. 1, 2016.

Concerning the status of the 2012 State Revolving Fund sewer rehabilitation project, commissioners received a report from Harry Luzius of Kurt D. Wright & Associates, who advised that the project was substantially completed and tested on Jan. 24.

Luzius reported that the contractor, Landsdowne Construction, is working on the final punch-list items and the next step will be seeding and paving, as weather permits. Once those steps are completed, the engineer will finish final documentation with the NCDENR.

"We expect this project to be entirely finished by next month's town meeting," Luzius said.

Finishing old business, commissioners discussed updates concerning the Joint Sewer Study the town is participating in, which is scheduled to be finished by May 30.

W.K. Dickson recently met in two separate sessions with town staff and with Mayor Bland and Commissioner Robin Ensley. Discussion was held on the various issues and concerns involved in potential regionalization of the sewer systems.

In new business, the board presented letters of recognition to the town's 2013 Christmas parade staff per request of Commissioner Ensley, who complemented them on their hard work during the holiday celebration.

Commissioners also adopted a resolution of intent to consider the closure of a portion of Old Flynn Road. During next month's regular meeting, the board will vote on a resolution to close the portion of the street.

The board then heard a request by the R/S Traffic Control Unit for use of the Spindale House for the unit's regular meetings. The group is a non-profit corporation that provides numerous services to the area, including traffic control services for fires, motor vehicle accidents, funerals, events and additional emergencies.

After a brief discussion, commissioners accepted the request under the condition the group hold its meetings on the third Monday of every month, when a town employee is already present at the Spindale House during meeting hours.

Concluding new business, the board approved a motion to present McHargue with a $500 bonus and an extra week of vacation.

"During the town manager's evaluation, it was determined that he does an excellent job and we are pleased with what he does for the Town of Spindale," said Mayor Mickey Bland. "Sometimes we feel we can't pay him what he's really worth to this town, so this is our way of showing it. Citizens should be happy we have him for the price we do."

In closing comments, McHargue, Bland and commissioners thanked town staff — including public safety and public works employees — for their dedicated efforts during the recent snow storm.