CREEDMOOR — The South Granville Water & Sewer Authority last week approved a deal that will make the city a full member of the authority, a change that’s expected to lower water bills for Creedmoor residents.
By a vote of 3-1, the authority approved the $15.7 million agreement that will change the city’s status.
SGWASA will buy the city’s water and sewer infrastructure, while the city will become a voting member of the authority composed of Granville County and the towns of Stem and Butner.
The deal heads off concerns that Creedmoor – which currently is treated as a wholesale customer of the authority – would seek services elsewhere. Had city officials decided to do so, it could have affected water and sewer conditions throughout the region by diverting water from Falls Lake.
The lake is Raleigh’s primary source of drinking water, and officials there had objected to plans for a new Creedmoor wastewater treatment plant, in part because it would affect Falls Lake.
The authority’s members said that with all of the county’s southern players working together, they would be in a stronger position for future issues, such as how to navigate the rules for Falls Lake.
“Overall, with us all being together, we carry a much stronger voice as we work outside our communities in dealing with water and sewer issues,” said Tom Lane, chair of SGWASA and mayor of Butner.
The city and SGWASA now enter a 6-month period of due diligence before Creedmoor’s assets are officially transferred. For the authority, the deal would mean greater predictability about who it serves and the resources it has.
The two sides have been in negotiations for months, and the overarching question of Creedmoor’s status with the authority, has been an issue for years. In last fall’s election, water issues played out prominently during the city commissioner’s races.
Two-long time incumbents lost their seats to political newcomers who had stressed the need to resolve the city’s water and sewer issues.
Creedmoor Mayor Darryl Moss agreed the deal is one that should help all of the southern half of the county thrive.
“This is a very historic moment for our community,” he said.
Officials from Stem, including SGWASA representative Lonnie Cole, objected to the deal because of the purchase price, though they agreed with the idea of Creedmoor joining the authority.
An average Creedmoor resident who uses 4,200 gallons a month is expected to save $24 to $36 annually under the deal, based on city data provided to SGAWASA officials. Existing residential customers are expected to see an increase in their bills, though less than if the city had left the authority entirely.
All of the rate changes already factor in the cost of $30 million in improvements to the SGWASA system.
Barr: 919-836-4952; Twitter: @barrmsarah