City, town to negotiate sewer deal

Published 5:19 pm Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Washington’s City Council, during its meeting Monday, authorized the city manager to negotiate with the Town of Chocowinity on the city providing an additional capacity if 8,450 gallons per day so it can better serve the rest area to be built along U.S. Highway 17 south of the town.

The council’s vote was 4-1, with Councilman Doug Mercer opposing the authorization. Previously, the council instructed City Manager Brian Alligood and city staff to work with Chocowinity officials to determine the town’s future sewer needs inside the town limits and outside those limits.

Chocowinity pays the city for sewer capacity in the city’s wastewater removal system and to treat the town’s sewage at the city’s sewage-treatment plant.

Chocowinity Mayor Jimmy Mobley and Kevin Brickhouse, the town’s public-works director, presented the town’s request to the council. . Under the current agreement between the city and town, the town pays $10 per gallon of capacity. The rest area will be in the town’s extraterritorial jurisdiction but not in the town limits.

Mercer raised concerns regarding how Chocowinity’s request for more capacity in the city’s sewer system could affect the overall capacity of the city’s sewer system. Mercer wants to be sure that granting Chocowinity’s request does not hamper the city’s efforts to grow and meet future demands on its sewer system.

In January, Mercer said the city must be sure it has adequate capacity to meet its current and future wastewater-treatment needs and have a better understanding of Chocowinity’s sewer needs in the coming years. The city needs that information before committing to provide the town the extra capacity it wants to meet growth demands inside the town limits and areas outside the town limits it wants to serve with sewer, such as the rest area, Mercer said.

About Mike Voss

Mike Voss is the contributing editor at the Washington Daily News. He has a daughter and four grandchildren. Except for nearly six years he worked at the Free Lance-Star in Fredericksburg, Va., in the early to mid-1990s, he has been at the Daily News since April 1986.
Journalism awards:
• Pulitzer Prize for Meritorious Public Service, 1990.
• Society of Professional Journalists: Sigma Delta Chi Award, Bronze Medallion.
• Associated Press Managing Editors’ Public Service Award.
• Investigative Reporters & Editors’ Award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Public Service Award, 1989.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Investigative Reporting, 1990.
All those were for the articles he and Betty Gray wrote about the city’s contaminated water system in 1989-1990.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Investigative Reporting, 1991.
• North Carolina Press Association, Third Place, General News Reporting, 2005.
• North Carolina Press Association, Second Place, Lighter Columns, 2006.
Recently learned he will receive another award.
• North Carolina Press Association, First Place, Lighter Columns, 2010.
4. Lectured at or served on seminar panels at journalism schools at UNC-Chapel Hill, University of Maryland, Columbia University, Mary Washington University and Francis Marion University.

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