Salisbury may amend water contract with China Grove

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, December 2, 2009

By Mark Wineka
Salisbury Post
Salisbury City Manager David Treme says Salisbury-Rowan Utilities will investigate whether any options exist for amending the city’s water contract agreement with China Grove.
China Grove and Salisbury officials met last week to discuss China Grove’s request to lower its minimum daily purchase of water from Salisbury-Rowan Utilities.
At present, Treme said, China Grove is paying for more water ó 300,000 gallons a day ó than it’s using. When textile plants in China Grove were in full operation, the town needed the 300,000 gallons daily from the city, according to Treme. That amount of water flow also has been important to maintaining water quality in the Salisbury-Rowan Utilities lines to southern Rowan.
Over the past year, China Grove’s average usage has been about 250,00 gallons a day. Also, China Grove officials say they could supply some of their water needs through town wells.
Treme said the city’s utility will determine whether it could reduce the amount of water going to China Grove and still maintain the water quality needed. Maybe in exchange for reducing the volume of water sold daily to China Grove, the city could enter into a longer-term agreement, Treme said.
But Treme cautioned that Salisbury-Rowan Utilities could not give China Grove a big break if it meant hurting Salisbury ratepayers.
Salisbury has been in continuing discussions with Kannapolis and Concord about sending more water to those cities and, if that happens, it could help address China Grove’s request, Treme said.
Salisbury City Councilman Mark Lewis said he’s all for helping China Grove, but he noted that ratepayers for Salisbury-Rowan Utilities are facing a 9.7 percent increase in the proposed 2008-2009 budget.
If amending China Grove’s current contract would make monthly rates go up even more, Lewis said, the city could not do it.
In other city business last week, the council:
– Amended a section of city ordinances related to parks and the preservation of park and plant life by prohibiting the use of metal detectors on park properties.
Salisbury Parks and Recreation Director Gail Elder White said metal detector users often dig and leave holes that create safety problems for other park users.
– Agreed to accept a driveway from Martin Luther King Jr. Avenue to the parking lot at HBD Industries as a city street and name that street of 180 feet “Thermoid Way.”
– With Police Chief Mark Wilhelm, recognized four police officers who received promotions May 5. They include Sgt. Andy Efird, who joined the department in 1999; Sgt. Brian Stallings, with the department since 1996; Lt. Greg Beam, with the department since 1991; and Lt. Karen Barbee, who joined the department in 1979.
– Approved the issuing of his badge and sidearm to Police Officer II Gary Mills, who recently retired. He had been with the department seven years.
Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263 or