Council consents to explore KJC sewer service

The Henderson City Council agreed by consensus to continue to pursue an idea that could hook the Kittrell Job Corps (KJC) to Henderson’s sanitary sewer plant.

The discussion took place yesterday evening during the Henderson City Council’s work session at City Hall.

City Manager Ray Griffin reported to the council that there was a request from the Economic Development Commission (EDC) to explore the extending of sewer service south along US 1 to the KJC.

The EDC’s chair, Sam Watkins, made such a request to the Vance County Board of Commissioners during their regular meeting on April 4, 2009.

In essence, the plan is to convince the federal government to reallocate money for fixing the KJC’s existing sewage treatment facility for running sewer lines for Henderson. According to Griffin, sewer is critical to economic development and can expand the tax base.

Griffin emphasized that exploring the idea does not financially obligate the city.

The city manager told members that the sewer plant is currently operating under capacity and there is a need to improve the customer base.

Some preliminary cost estimates were provided in a packet of materials on the issue that was made available to the council.

Council member Mike Rainey told members that he had had a number of calls on this issue. He said that constituents were concerned about whether the system can handle the extra load. He also said that people were concerned about whether the plan, if enacted, would jeopardize city service.

Calling the questions “legitimate”, Rainey said that it is worth the consideration of the city if it can enhance economic development through the use of grants. He went on to say that the plan could open the area up for economic development if the city can get the “right industry” to come into the area.

Member Garry Daeke asked if it was known what kind of revenue the lines would generate.

Griffin responded that he would “have to run those numbers”. He did note that the rate charged would be the out-of-city rate, which was appropriate since there would be maintenance on the lines which costs more to run further from the city. He went on to predict that the issue would come up in the future “because we are the sewer provider for the county”.