RED SPRINGS – Commissioners here were given a “snapshot” of the city’s sewer system on Tuesday and were told of a worst-case scenario that could cost tens of millions of dollars to correct.
The city’s sewage capital management plan, which serves as a map of the sewer system and its condition, was unveiled at a livestream meeting of the Board of Commissioners by representatives from WithersRavenel, a Cary-based civil and environmental engineering company.
“The AMP is a snapshot, but it’s a living document,” said JD Freeman, project manager.
The data entered into the county’s geographic information system will serve as a plan for the city to repair pipes in the future and develop a better funding strategy for repairs. The development of the appraisal management plan is paid for with a $ 150,000 grant for inventory and appraisal of assets from NC Environmental Quality Department.
WithersRavenel staff used smoke to find holes in the sewer lines and inspected the city’s 34-mile sanitary sewer system, which is 1 mile long and serves five sanitary sewer lift stations and their 681 sanitary manholes, he said.
The results showed that in the worst case scenario, the city would have to spend $ 40 million on pipe repairs over 50 years if the system is not efficiently maintained or necessary repairs are not performed in high risk areas.
City administrator David Ashburn said the city hopes to sliplining a percentage of these pipes, which will allow workers to place a liner in existing pipes that will harden and repair leaks. Ashburn estimated that using sliplining would bring repair costs down to $ 24 million.
The city routinely cleans the pipes, even more than prescribed in the schedule, to better maintain the system, the city administrator said.
Ashburn said the city hopes to have bids for repair work on some of the pipes mentioned in the plan by March 1. If an acceptable offer is received, work can begin in spring or summer. The project would be paid for using a Community Development Block Grant of approximately US $ 2 million.
On other matters, Ashburn urged residents to sign up for call notifications from the city.
“We are working very hard to improve communication with the citizens of this city,” he said.
The newsletter that the city sends out with monthly electricity bills is not enough, said the city administrator. Residents can be better informed of events and receive emergency notifications by calling City Hall and logging in to be notified by phone.
The commissioners also heard from Red Springs Police Chief Brent Adkins about the Police Department’s Let’s Chat Awhile program. The program helps officials conduct daily wellness checks on elderly or disabled residents living alone. The attendee would call the department to check in daily, and if the department can’t reach them, an officer will visit the house.
“We care about you. We want you to use this service,” said Adkins.
People can sign up by visiting the police and filling out a form. The program requires at least two alternate people to be listed for the police to seek help in contacting participants. If a participant leaves town or is in the hospital or on vacation, the department asks them to be made aware so that they don’t worry, Adkins said.
“Again, it’s a friendship,” said Adkins.
The program is similar to a wellness check-out program that he was involved in while serving in the St. Paul’s Police Department, Adkins said. This program was well received and had between 30 and 40 participants.
“As you can see, we have many positive things ahead of us in our city,” said Mayor Ed Henderson.
Projects like the water treatment plant replacement, the sewage project and the addition of businesses like the Robeson Health Care Clinic will all help improve the quality of life for city dwellers, he said.
Also on Tuesday, the commissioners encouraged residents to help clean up the roadside rubbish.
“We have the bags for you,” said Inspector Duron Burney.
The residents can pick up supplies from the town hall. The collected garbage will be picked up by the city’s public works department.
Commissioner Elma Patterson recently filled four garbage bags from Quick and Harrington Streets and other areas. She also praised a group from Jones Chapel for collecting trash on Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
In closing comments, commissioners encouraged residents to continue wearing masks and get vaccinated against COVID-19.
Commissioner Murray McKeithan encouraged residents “to take additional measures to be extra careful” to prevent the coronavirus from spreading.
Mayor Henderson said he received his COVID-19 vaccine Tuesday.
“I encourage you to have yours too,” he said.