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County agrees to $3.5M water plant upgrade

 

SARAH LOWERY

Staff Writer

 

The Lincoln County Board of Commissioners unanimously signed off on a nearly $3.5 million contract for improvements to the county’s water-treatment plant during its meeting Monday night.

Funded by the water and sewer capital-improvement budget, the project will result in upgrades to the plant’s mixing and flocculation, chemical-feed equipment, sedimentation basin, pipe gallery and sludge handling.

The plant was built in 1992. The county retained Goodwyn, Mills & Cawood to design the plan for repairs to the existing facility in 2011.

Public Works Director Don Chamblee said the work would likely take 360 days, with County Manager George Wood noting that it was the “big project” for the current fiscal year.

The county opened bids for the project on Nov. 29 and had five bidders. The lowest bidder and recipient of the contract is Statesville-based Gilbert Engineering Company.

While Chamblee noted that the upgrades won’t allow for more capacity, he said he does believe the efficiency at the plant will be improved.

In other Board of Commission action Monday night:

  • Commissioners unanimously signed off on awarding a contract for water-meter replacement, with a maximum price of roughly $184,000.
  • Commissioners unanimously approved the sole-source purchase of two ambulances for $259,756 to Northwest Emergency Vehicles.
  • Commissioners unanimously approved the hiring of six additional personnel to staff Medic 9 at the new Howards Creek EMS Substation.
  • Commissioners unanimously agreed to exercise the option to purchase property for the Parks and Recreation Department maintenance on Startown Road. County officials approved renting the facility after the Parks and Recreation and Public Works shop on West Church Street in Lincolnton was closed in June due to the possibility of loose lead-based paint and asbestos flooring tiles within the building. The lease on the Startown Road building allowed the option to purchase it after Jan. 1 for $190,000, with 50 percent of the rent applied to the price.
  • Commissioners unanimously approved of a ground lease to help lure a Brazilian company to locate here. Crystal Gettys, business development manager for the Lincoln Economic Development Association, said, should the company choose Lincoln County, it would prefer property instead of regular incentives.

County Attorney Wesley Deaton informed the board of a lawsuit filed by the town of Maiden against the county regarding a dispute over the sewer line for the Lincoln County Industrial Park. The legal conflict first arose several years ago.

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