Five blighted houses down; infrastructure grants eyed

Feb. 12, 2013 @ 06:42 PM

Henderson leaders on Monday heard updates on work to demolish blighted houses and to organize applications for new grant awards that would go toward projects to upgrade water and sewer infrastructure.

Corey Williams, Henderson’s code compliance director, said five houses are down and another is scheduled, spending $22,650 to clear areas in North Henderson.

Williams showed council members before and after photos of the run-down structures he said were magnates for crime and other problems. Several of the after photos showed clear lots that would no longer be drug hangouts or squatter homes.

“Hopefully we eliminated some problems, so we won’t be having them anymore,” Williams said.

Gone, or down with a wait on hauling debris away, are 228 and 302 Main, 913 and 884 Lamb and 250 Lowry streets. On deck is 849 Lamb St., a tax office foreclosure.

The 913 Lamb St., location had been the scene of a structure fire that caused the roof to fall in. Months after the suspected arson incident, deterioration and dampness presented unique challenges to a simple tear-down and haul-away operation, Williams said.

“This was a wet demolition, with fire damage,” Williams said, adding that crew members with the Henderson Fire Department helped at the site. “The departments worked well together.”

Assistant City Manager Frank Frazier told council members on Monday that city contract partner McGill Associates recommended three water and sewer infrastructure projects as focal points for applying to get grant funding together in the upcoming round of grant awards.

“I think these are good projects to look at,” Frazier said. “They have been identified from our CIP,” he added, referring to the city’s capital improvement plan.

• A Beckford Drive water main loop would bring water main service closer to where there has been some recent development. There is only one feed from Dabney Drive to the intersection of North Park Drive.

Frazier said there are numerous businesses, including a dialysis center and the city’s operations center, that would be out of water because of the one-feed vulnerability.

“The loop would extend into that area,” Frazier said.

It would entail construction of about 3,000 linear feet of 8-inch line, with an estimated cost total of about $180,000.

• A water main project would extend 10,600 linear feet along U.S. 158 business from Ruin Creek to Poplar Creek roads, and would become a second feed to Triangle North Industrial Park and Vance-Granville Community College.

“There are several subdivisions off of 158 that could potentially tie in, so they would be potential new customers,” Frazier said. “We understand there may be some well problems in the area.”

The second feed to the industrial areas would serve as a backup in case the 158 Bypass line had a problem, according to Frazier. The cost for that project is estimated at $614,800.

• The Elmwood Cemetery sewer main replacement project would provide a mitigation system to augment completion of the Sandy Creek pump station, a project now in the design phase.

Frazier said alternatives being considered by city staff for the sewer collection system include upsizing nearly 5,000 feet of pipes at $1.9 million total cost estimated or increasing slopes using existing pipe sized at $850,000 for 2,100 feet of pipe dealt with in the South Williams and East Spring streets areas.

“This would help us to deal with the overflows from the Sandy Creek pump station project,” Frazier said.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.