CREEDMOOR — City officials are working to narrow the differences between their proposal to join the local water and sewer authority and the authority’s position.
The two sides have found common ground on some of the biggest sticking points between them, including the price the South Granville Water & Sewer Authority will pay for Creedmoor’s infrastructure, but smaller details still are under discussion.
If the deal goes through, water rates are expected to decrease for Creedmoor residents.
The Creedmoor Board of Commissioners in September passed a resolution that spelled out the conditions under which they would sell their infrastructure to the authority and become full members of the group.
Those conditions included a price tag of $15.7 million, which the authority negotiating committee indicated it would accept in a draft response released late last month.
“We’ve got some work to do, but this document moves the discussion in a very positive direction,” Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss said of the response at a meeting last week.
Among the differences between the two groups is the question of whether a provision will be included that would allow Creedmoor to terminate the agreement if the authority does not have sufficient capacity to treat the city’s wastewater in the future.
The question of capacity has been a point of contention between the city and SGWASA. Creedmoor officials are skeptical the authority has sufficient capacity, while the authority says it does. Moss said earlier this year that the city had decided to take the authority at its word and move forward with the negotiations.
City Manager Tom Mercer also said that if the city joins the authority, it would not lead to layoffs among city employees.
For the deal to go forward, Creedmoor and the nearby towns of Butner and Stem also will have to agree about which governments will control certain utility districts outside municipal boundaries.
In the resolution, Creedmoor officials put forward their own plan for how those boundaries should be drawn. Granville County ultimately would have to approve those boundaries.
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.