Friday, 08 March 2019 14:00

Wolf Pit water concerns brought to Richmond County commissioners

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Preston Waddell addresses water concerns in the Wolf Pit area with commissioners during Tuesday's meeting. Preston Waddell addresses water concerns in the Wolf Pit area with commissioners during Tuesday's meeting. Chuck Thames - Richmond Observer

 

ROCKINGHAM-  “What do we have to do to get water for area residents?”  

That was the question posed to the Richmond County Board of Commissioners Tuesday night by Preston Waddell, chairman of Wolf Pit precinct No. 4. He said he was speaking on behalf of citizens of that area.  


Waddell thanked the commissioners for the progress on the new water project which takes county water south of Rockingham along U.S. 1.  

“It’s been over 20 years in the making but we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until all families receive water,” said Waddell. He told the commissioners he had a petition of more than 500 names of concerned citizens.  

According to Waddell, his well water quality currently has to be tested once per quarter, as well as annually, for nitrates. He indicated the cost of the tests to be $500. He noted that he will be getting water during the current project but remains concerned for those who are not presently in the county’s plan for water service.  

One area of concern brought by Waddell was Horseshoe Road, which he said would be bypassed ― stopping only 2000 feet short of residents in need of water. Horseshoe Road is a loop road off U.S. 1, approximately 9 miles south of downtown Rockingham.  

Waddell said that he had read in the newspaper that the project was being funded by a $1.7 million grant. This comment was corrected later in the meeting by County Manager Bryan Land, who said the funding was actually a USDA loan that must be paid back over 40 years. 

“Water and solid waste have to be run like a business or we won’t be in business,” said Land. “There’s no tax dollars, zero tax dollars that go into water. We’ve had folks in the Derby area and along U.S. 1 that have wanted water for 25 years. If it doesn’t meet the payback, we can’t do it.” 

Richmond County has 82 percent coverage for water customers in Richmond County ― one of the highest in the state, according to Land.  

Of the additional water line for the residents of Horseshoe Road, Land noted the cost would run $45 to $50 per foot and could be $100,000 for a 2,000-foot run.   

Commissioner Ben Moss weighed in saying, “We’re left with the problem how do we finance it?” weighed in Commissioner Ben Moss.  “I’d love to have 100 percent coverage in Richmond County, but if you don’t have the money to do it you can’t do it.  You can’t spend money you don’t have.”  

“What do you suggest for the people who don’t have water?” Bostic asked Moss.

Moss replied, “I’m open to suggestions from you, what do you suggest we do to pay for it?” 

One option brought up was that residents of areas which don’t meet the 10-year payback can agree to a higher cost in order to allow the project to reach the 10-year payback.

When asked about next steps, Land said he would take a look at the petition and the names and addresses of those wishing for water to see what if anything could be done.  

 

 

 

 

 

Last modified on Friday, 08 March 2019 14:09