Henderson 2012: Nutbush renovations finally take steps toward reality

Jan. 12, 2013 @ 09:08 PM

The City of Henderson made progress on two important development fronts in 2012, and it began implementation of a vital change to its political process.

Steps toward a ground-breaking that will signal the start of up to two years of heavy-duty construction on long-planned renovations at the Nutbush water reclamation facility culminated in a bidding process that continues this month.

City Manager Ray Griffin said those steps took place amidst other strides in tackling the city’s aging infrastructure issue.

“In 2012, we made major strides in dealing with infrastructure,” he said, noting work at the Sandy Creek pump station, ongoing work to replace two-inch waterlines and the uptake in development and use of radio-read meters as examples.

The biggest project by far, and destined to dominate the landscape of city infrastructure gains for the next 18 to 24 months once ground is broken, is construction at Nutbush.

The Nutbush facility is slated to receive up to $16.9 million in upgrades that feature construction of an oxidation ditch system bringing the processing of city sewage up to date on standards for state-of-the-art water reclamation. It will eliminate costly and potentially hazardous lime-treatment steps and bring the facility into compliance with expected changes in federal processing standards.

Henderson inked a second deal on water use with Vance County in July that fuels the Phase 2 construction of the county water system. When finished, it will turn on 175,000 gallons of daily use to communities north of the city.

The elections of city council members and the mayor are now organized according to staggered four-year terms following the May election for mayor and the full slate of eight aldermen. Half of the city council terms will be up for re-election in November and half, plus the mayoral seat, are set for re-election in November 2015.

Following a plan adopted by the council in late 2011, the at-large seats for Wards 1 and 2 and the ward seats for Wards 3 and 4 were filled for a two-year term, shortened because the council delayed the November 2011 election to May. Conversely, the ward seats for Wards 1 and 2 and the at-large seats for Wards 3 and 4 were elected for terms of four years.

In future elections, all terms for the council and mayor will be for four-year periods, with their elections held on the same schedule that alternates every two years.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.