Water flowing in project

Dec. 10, 2012 @ 05:57 PM

Phase 2 of the Vance County water project is moving forward, with construction estimated to begin as early as April of 2013.

“If we’re able to get it out to bid in January,” said Jordan McMillan, the county’s planning director, “we’d be looking in the April time frame, mid-April to late May.”

A major accomplishment of the county commissioners has been progression of the water project throughout the past year. Construction for Phase 1A, primarily in the southeastern area of the county, began earlier in the year on July 9.

“We have accomplished a number of things this calendar year,” said Terry Garrison, during December’s board meeting of the county commissioners. “One major accomplishment is that we now have water flowing through pipes.”

Rock has been struck in several areas during construction of 1A, causing minor setbacks to the project.

“They did run into rock, which slows construction down,” McMillan said. “That was not totally unexpected. We did put in a good bit of money for rock.”

Jerry Ayscue, the county manager, referred to provisions for certain areas where rock has been discovered as costly.

Dynamite explosive work is being used to combat the problem, which McMillan says has not set back progress significantly.

“We’ve made it over some areas,” McMillan said. “They’ve skipped over some, but they’ll be coming back.”

According to Ayscue, 1A now has 823 customers enrolled, and registration is encouraged while construction is still in progress.

“You can pay a $125 tap fee if you get it done before construction passes your property,” Ayscue said. “Cost goes up substantially after construction goes up.

“You pay a minimum monthly fee, but it’s cheaper than $800 to $1,200 later on.”

Currently the project is progressing with permits in the works for 2A and 2B, which have been applied for separately. Sign-ups for 2A have reached 363, and 365 for 2B. Phases 2A and 2B encompass primarily the northwestern areas of the county.

“For 2A and 2B we applied for a permit from the public supply section in water with the Department of Environmental and Natural Resources,” Ayscue said. “We applied in October for Phases 2A and 2B. We’re still waiting.”

According to Ayscue the next items for 2A and 2B were the N.C. Department of Transportation encroachment agreements.

“We’re running down the sides of the roads with our water lines,” Ayscue said. “So we’re encroaching on DOT property.

“I am told that typically the DOT approves encroachment agreements after erosion control permits.”

Permits for erosion control of 2B were submitted on Oct. 26, and Ayscue believes approval will be received soon. Approval for the erosion control permit of 2A was received on Nov. 9.

Other permits requested for 2B include one from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which received approval on Nov. 9 to cross a portion of Kerr Lake.

“The last thing we’ve asked for on 2B is a utility crossing easement,” Ayscue said. “We’re asking for permission to cross over Kerr Lake reservoir.

“We have not submitted that, but we have submitted prelim information for this easement.”

Upon the approval of all permits, Vance County can proceed with the bidding process for construction of 2A and 2B.

“Sign-ups go up when you start digging,” Ayscue said. “We’ve seen that. They go up 35 to 40 percent.”

Contact the writer at amauser@hendersondispatch.com.