CREEDMOOR — City officials hoping to join the regional water and sewer authority will have to negotiate with neighboring towns, not just the authority itself.
The Board of Commissioners last month passed a resolution that spelled out the conditions under which they would sell thei nfrastructure to the South Granville Water & Sewer Authority and become full members of the group.
The authority’s negotiating committee met last week to begin discussing those conditions.
But, for the deal to go forward, the towns of Butner and Stem, along with Granville County, will also have to agree about which government controls certain utility districts outside municipal boundaries.
In the resolution, Creedmoor officials put forward their own plan for how those boundaries should be drawn.
And that’s where things might get tricky.
Stem Mayor Nancy Alford said that she still has a lot of questions about Creedmoor’s vision for the boundaries.
“All three municipalities should have gotten together,” she said. “That didn’t happen.”
Alford said she anticipates the municipalities will meet soon to hash out the boundaries, though. The boundaries are critical because they dictate where a city or town could allow further development and growth.
The negotiations come in the midst of a debate about whether Creedmoor should fold into the authority or build its own wastewater treatment plant that would discharge into the Tar River.
The surrounding municipalities and environmental organizations are against a potential new plant because of concerns about its cost and the potential for environmental degradation. Neighbors near the sites for the plant and a discharge station also have objected to the idea.
While the negotiations about Creedmoor joining the authority have taken center stage, the concerns about the potential plant have not dissipated. Residents still want assurances that the plant will not be built.
Tom Reeder, director of the state’s Division of Water Resources, last week told the state legislature’s Environmental Review Commission that it’s unlikely Creedmoor would ever win federal approval for the plant. He said the city has not demonstrated that the project is essential or would not threaten the environment.