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County commissioners will consider Duke Energy water line agreement

By Josh Bergeron
josh.bergeron@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY — The Rowan County Board of Commissioners on Monday could finalize an agreement with Duke Energy for a multi-million-dollar water line near the company’s Buck Steam Station.

The water line, which Duke Energy is required to provide to neighbors of coal ash ponds, will start near I-85 and cover more than 150 homes in the area. Houses eligible for the water line received a selection card from Duke Energy to indicate a preference for a water line, filtration system or no change to their water supply. Because of concerns about the safety of private wells, state law requires Duke Energy to provide, or at least offer, a permanent, safe source of water.

Separate from state law, Rowan County commissioners already planned to extend a water line into the Dukeville area for economic development reasons. As a result, the agreement on Monday’s agenda states county government will be reimbursed for costs of construction.

At the latest, the water line would need to be complete by Oct. 15, 2018.

The agreement states Duke Energy will pay for a water line that’s six inches at its largest point. County officials have indicated a preference for water lines that are 12 inches at the largest point. County government would pay for any additions to a basic water line, such as a 12-inch pipe for economic development.

Duke Energy has estimated $4.97 million to be the total installation costs for a water line that complies with state law.

Other provisions in the contract include: regular updates to Duke Energy about the progress about construction of the water line, a guarantee that county government would grant permits to extend service lines to houses and that county officials would provide documentation to the Department of Environmental Quality if the water line isn’t finished by Oct. 18, 2018.

Rowan County commissioners will have Monday’s meeting at 3 p.m. in the county administration building.

In other business on the agenda:

• Commissioners are scheduled to recommend that the Rowan County Fair Association clear five acres of timber behind its property.

For months, years even, county commissioners and the fair association have worked to finalize details of a lease for parking space. As part of Monday’s consent agenda, commissioners are scheduled to recommend that the fair association clear the land it hopes to use as parking space.

As part of Monday’s action, commissioners will require that the fair association ensure that tree stumps are removed, too.

County Manager Aaron Church said county government was unable to find a way to clear trees and stumps without paying a fee for removal.

• Commissioners are schedule to approve paying sheriff’s deputies a bonus of $150 for working for the City of Salisbury for minimum of eight hours on any future county holidays.

The bonus would be related to a program approved in December 2016 that allowed sheriff’s deputies to work as police offices. The program received approval shortly after the death of 7-year-old A’yanna Allen.

As part of Monday’s agenda, County Manager Aaron Church says he did not foresee that the program would still be in place. The program included bonuses for prior county holidays. On Monday, Church is seeking approval to extend the program to future county holidays.

• County commissioners will consider a conditional use permit request for a 480-square-foot residential storage facility on near the intersection of Needmore Road and Foster Road, which is in northwestern Rowan County.

• As part of the consent agenda, Rowan County commissioners are scheduled to approve the purchase of one acre of land on Julian Road for a recycling center and solid waste site.

The proposed purchase price is $160,000.

Contact reporter Josh Bergeron at 704-797-4246.

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