By Angela McGill
The ongoing water plant project was discussed on Aug. 12 at the monthly Alderson Town Council meeting. The project includes updating water lines and extensions going around Riverside Rest, Glen Ray, and up to Stuarts Smokehouse, but the major undertaking is the replacement and relocation of the water plant. The bill would be $6 to $8 million for the line replacement, repairs, and upgrades.
“We are fixing about 100 years of headaches,” said Alderson Mayor Travis Copenhaver. “$13 to 14 million dollars’ worth of water improvements is what we’re working on, and if we’re successful, 100 percent mitigation funds that won’t require any match from us. We’re working really hard.”
There is $6 million dollars in construction planned for repairs and extensions, and the town is hoping to secure an $8 million grant for the water plant.
A major issue the town is dealing with is repairs to the current water pumps, with Copenhaver stating, “They’re out of warranty, it has nickel and dimed us to death.” He adds that he has been working “since last March” on replacing the pumps, but COVID caused delays. Funding remains leftover from recent wastewater treatment plant upgrades, and can be used to purchase the new and improved pumps at a cost of roughly $54,000.
Copenhaver explains that you can’t just go and purchase any pump. “This is not simple; they have to be specific pumps that fit our pumps that are in the ground now and fit our connections. The one pump for station number two is $13,456 and that’s the cheapest one, the other pump for the other station is $7,200.”
On Aug. 18, he posted an update to the town’s social media on the topic:
“Pump issues have plagued us with wastewater for the last couple of years. Despite a $7 million improvement, it’s a never-ending job. It’s a costly one as well. From April of 2020 until today we have spent over $52,000 fixing pumps for wastewater.
This isn’t grant funds or money that was planned. We are working to spend some leftover project funds from that upgrade that, thanks to the issues from Covid last year, we are just now able to get price quotes from multiple sources with projected dates of delivery. If you haven’t tried to buy one $13,000 dollar pump (we need 6) lately you don’t understand.
But Steve sent some good news to me this morning that made me smile, a lot.
“Hey, we got 1.18 inches of rain last night and #1 Lift Station is at normal level. 5 years ago it would been wide open for 24 hours or more. So, all that I-n-I work has really paid off!”
That lift station’s pumps are the first priority on the list to replace. If those men hadn’t done that work to stop unnecessary water from entering our system when it’s raining and wet, we would have had a disaster this morning.”
In other news:
- Holly Gore and Laurie Bennett presented a proposition for Little League to take over park maintenance. Recorder Betty Thomas said it would be tabled until the delegation of duties is decided.
- Alderson Planning Commission acquired two new members, Justin Palmer and Angela McGill.
- The council voted to approve $35,425 of general funds to be brought back in from the art funds to assist in stabilizing economic issues.