SRU pump will receive $165,000 upgrade

Published 12:00 am Wednesday, October 7, 2015

By Mark Wineka

SALISBURY — A pump at the city’s water intake station is going to rehab.

Salisbury City Council approved a $165,789 contract Tuesday that will go toward rehabilitating pump No. 2 at the pump station off Hannah Ferry Road. The upgrade will increase the pump’s capacity from 12 million gallons a day to 18 million gallons a day.

Salisbury-Rowan Utilities relies on the Yadkin River for its water supply.

The upgrade will mean SRU will have three pumps, each with a pumping ability of 18 million gallons a day.

Council awarded the contract to Charles R. Underwood Inc., which provided a similar rehabilitation of another pump in 2011. Utilities Director Jim Behmer and Purchasing Manager Anna Bumgarner said the purchase of a Floway 3-stage bowl assembly and vortex baskets for pumps 1 and 2 will help considerably in standardizing the equipment at the pump station.

The Salisbury-Rowan Utilities budget for 2015-2016 put aside $200,000 for rehabilitation of pump No. 2, so Behmer said the job comes in under budget.

Council covered several other subjects Tuesday though its meeting lasted only 41 minutes.

City Engineer Wendy Brindle informed council that Broadplex LLC had installed underground fiber-optic cable in the public right of way without the city’s approval.

Brindle said a company would normally come to the council before this kind of installation is started. The work was spotted by a city employee, and by the time Broadplex LLC was contacted, much of the work had been completed, Brindle said.

The company installed 18,000 lineal feet of underground fiber cable from Airport Road to the intersection of South Church and West Bank streets. It installed an additional 2,800 lineal feet of underground fiber from the intersection of South Church and East Horah streets to the intersection of South Long and East Fisher streets.

With council’s approval, Broadplex will be billed at the city’s adopted fee of $1 per lineal foot, or a $20,800 total. Until the fee was increased during the last budget discussions, the city charged only 10 cents per lineal foot, meaning Broadplex would have owed only $2,080 had it installed the fiber sooner.

In another matter, Todd Littleton, owner of the building at 113 E. Fisher St., received council’s approval to close the 100 block of East Fisher Street for a maximum of eight hours during an upcoming day.

The closure will happen sometime between Oct. 12 and Oct. 23, on a date determined by a supplier.

Chad Vriesema of Central Piedmont Builders said the street closure is necessary for the delivery of steel beams, some of which will be 30 and 4o feet long.

“I don’t think it will take more than four hours,” Vriesema said.

Vickie Eddleman, traffic engineering coordinator, updated council on the project and noted at least one owner on the street is concerned that he’s losing business because of the ongoing restoration project.

It already has closed the sidewalk in front of the building, while also claiming three parking spaces. Vriesema said he expects to be back with a request of council again when it comes time to brick the front of the building.

Vriesema predicted the project will be finished in “six months or less.” Littleton said he hopes for an early 2016 completion date. Everything but the three walls still standing will be new, Littleton said.

“It will be a nice addition to the downtown,” he added.

In another matter, council approved a right-of-way encroachment which will allow a sculpture to be placed in the median on Mitchell Avenue.

The sculpture will be a two-sided mosaic of glass and tile, measuring 3 feet by 9 inches deep. It will rest on top of a 4-foot-high cement base and post, bolted to a cement pad.

Eddleman said the Mitchell Avenue median is 9 feet wide, and the sculpture will be 5 feet wide at the base, giving it 2 feet of clearance on either side.

The Fulton Heights Neighborhood Association is paying for the sculpture, which will be placed near the Fulton Street/Mitchell Avenue intersection. A small tree in the median will have to be removed to make way for the sculpture.

Artist Jeannette Brossart, whose has current Salisbury Sculpture Show works on display at the Rowan Public Library and Waterworks Visual Arts Center, is doing the Fulton Heights mosaic.

It will incorporate some items such as a trolley and rose gardens that have a connection to Fulton Heights’ history. Its welcoming message will say, “Fulton Heights: a place of pleasure and comfort.”

Mayor Paul Woodson asked whether the tree that has to be removed can be saved. Mayor Pro Tem Maggie Blackwell suggested that it could be replanted in the neighborhood’s Centennial Park.

At the beginning of council’s meeting Tuesday, Woodson called up members of the Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard, which won the national championship in advancing and retrieving the colors at this summer’s American Legion Convention in Baltimore.

The Honor Guard members led the audience in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance, then they were recognized with a proclamation, handshakes and picture-taking with the whole council.

Honor Guard members in attendance included Commander Charles Cauble, Tom Wood, Bill Anderson, Bill Lane, Chuck Quinn, Rebecca Forbes, Dave Shaff, John Pharr and Bill Craddock. Photographer Teresa Fox also was with the group.

The council’s framed proclamation described the Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard as “a dedicated group of volunteers who provide military rites at veterans’ funerals, teach our youth about patriotism, and present the colors at over 300 ceremonies throughout the year.”

The proclamation added, “we honor, thank and express our utmost pride in the Rowan County Veterans Honor Guard for the dignity and unwavering support they provide to our veterans.”

Cauble said it was an honor for the Honor Guard to represent Salisbury, Rowan County and North Carolina at the American Legion National Convention. He added the unit was looking forward to defending its title at next year’s Legion convention in Cincinnati.

Contact Mark Wineka at 704-797-4263.