Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Salisbury Post
It seemed like the blink of an eye, but with brief discussion and a few “ayes” Salisbury City Council recently allocated roughly $1 million toward various utility projects.
“Everything costs in water and sewer,” Matt Bernhardt, assistant city manager for utilities, said.
And it’s never glamorous.
Council approved the $198,892 purchase of a sludge dewatering belt press for the Town Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant.
It also OK’d an $84,700 agreement between Salisbury-Rowan Utilities and the town of China Grove for a new water connection in China Grove at Bostian Road.
The additions necessary for the water connection will include a master meter vault, a rate-of-flow control vault and monitoring and control telemetry.
Again, not glamorous stuff, but Bernhardt described it as “a positive project.” China Grove will pay for the water connection.
The big bucks came when council approved $850,000 in the sale of bonds for these projects and more upgrades to both the Grants Creek and Town Creek wastewater treatment plants coming in July.
The sludge dewatering belt press actually prompted the most discussion among council members.
Purchasing Manager Dewey Peck said the existing plate press at Town Creek is 20 years old and obsolete. Repair parts have to be handmade and are expensive, he said.
The new belt press to be purchased matches an existing unit at Grants Creek, and that should help lower operation and maintenance costs overall and increase productivity of the dewatering process at Town Creek, Peck said.
The city will buy the new Tower Press model from Charter Machine Co.
In another purchase, council agreed to buy a Crane Carrier Cab and Chassis for the Sanitation Division.
The city will buy the cab and chassis from Southern Truck Service Inc. for $94,600. Funds will come from the city budget’s vehicle replacement fund.
Peck said the city has successfully operated this kind of equipment for seven years. The model has the lowest first step in the industry and a walk-through cab with dual steering, Peck said.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263, or