CREEDMOOR — Officials here still are considering a plan to build a new wastewater treatment facility in town and have even bought land where they could build it.
But officials also are in negotiations to become full members, rather than outside customers, of the local treatment facility run by the South Granville Water and Sewer Authority.
Mayor Darryl Moss said the city is moving ahead with both options for now, with no deadline for a final choice between the two. “We aren’t going to rush,” he said. “It’s a huge decision no matter which way we end up going.”
Moss said his personal preference is to join the existing water and sewer authority.
Many groups, including residents, surrounding municipalities and environmental organizations, have weighed in against the proposal for a new treatment plant, which would discharge into the Tar River. The plant would cost about $27 million and would be financed by grants and loans from the Rural Development branch of the federal Agriculture Department.
In late May, the city paid a purchase price of $150,000 and $127,516 for land that would give them space to build a plant and a discharge site.
Alex Floyd, who owns land along the Tar River, said that for both environmental and cost reasons, the city should not pursue a new facility.
“It just doesn’t make any sense at all,” he said. “It harms a lot of people.”
Late last year, the city released an environmental analysis it commissioned regarding its proposal for a potential wastewater treatment plant.
The analysis said that the existing water and sewer authority doesn’t have the capacity to accommodate Creedmoor’s treatment needs for the next 20 years, but SGWSA says that it does.
Furthermore, if Creedmoor were to become a full member of the system, customers would save money because they would pay cheaper rates and the city no longer would have to duplicate functions such as billing, said Lindsay Mize, executive director of the authority. He said those savings would be about $300 to $500 per customer each year.
Officials from the city and the authority are working to negotiate a memorandum of understanding that would set the terms if Creedmoor were to become a full member of the authority.
Other groups that responded to the analysis include the city of Raleigh. Officials there are concerned the plant would jeopardize the city’s efforts to get more drinking water from Falls Lake. The city said the analysis was inadequate for reasons such as a failure to consider how the proposal would affect protected species or the Raleigh drinking water supply.
In addition, the Southern Environmental Law Center said in comments on behalf of the Pamlico-Tar River Foundation and the Environmental Defense Fund that the analysis failed to meet the standards for such an analysis set forth in federal law.
Because the proposal “may have significant environmental effects on the ecologically important and sensitive Tar River,” the city should prepare a more in-depth analysis, the center said.