Duncan Suzuki

Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Water project could begin much sooner

DUBLIN — A decision by the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Monday night could result in a 50 percent reduction in the county’s cost of upgrading the local water treatment plant — and get the project completed years earlier than expected.
During a special called meeting held at New River Community College, the Board unanimously voted to approve a $3.4 million loan to the Pulaski County Public Service Authority to clear the way for the PSA to receive a $3.1 million federal grant.
David Rundgren, executive director of the New River Planning District Commission, said the loan will enable to PSA to provide a funding match required to receive the loan. He said securing the matching funds appears to be the only thing standing in the way of the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Authority (EDA) grant.
The PDC has been working with the PSA on the grant application. However, he said, the EDA indicated they would have to show proof that the matching funds are in place before the application could be approved.
“They (EDA officials) wanted it certified today, but I think I got them to agree to an extension,” Rundgren said to the supervisors. “That’s why you’re here tonight.”
Rundgren explained that he contacted area banks and other potential sources for the funds, but there was no way to get an answer from them Monday.
Of the $3.4 million loan, County Administrator Peter Huber said $1.5 million could be provided by the regional Commerce Park improvements fund since any upgrades to the water system would include water service to the park.
According to a report prepared by county engineer Ronnie Coake in November, the water treatment plant is designed to produce 3 million gallons per day. It is presently producing about 2.2 million gpd.
Virginia Department of Health requires plans for expansion to begin once production reaches 80 percent of the capacity (2.4 million gpd) for three consecutive months. Therefore, Coake said, design should begin “in the near future.”
He said construction on an expansion project should begin in 2014 since the plant will reach its maximum production capacity in 2021.
According to Coake, the county has several options it can consider in dealing with the county’s water supply, but the two best options would be to either expand the current facility or try to work a deal with the City of Radford to purchase water for the east side of the county.
If part of the county’s water was purchased from Radford, the existing plant could continue to be used for the western side of the county.
If the county purchases water from Radford, Board of Supervisors Chairman Joe Sheffey asked if there is a way to ensure water can never be cut off to the county.
Huber said the best way to address that concern would be to form a water authority between Pulaski County and Radford. Then, other jurisdictions could buy into the authority too.
Coake estimated the annual cost of expanding the present plant (over a 20-year period) would be about $1.3 million.
That compares with about $92,000 per year to buy water if an agreement can be reached with the city.
Huber said it would be of “great benefit” to encourage industries to locate in the commerce park to have two separate water sources available to the park.
Coake added that a benefit of working out a deal with Radford would be that the project could be completed in a year or so, instead of the many years it would take to expand.
Draper District Supervisor Dean Pratt asked if the funds loaned to the PSA would be returned to county coffers if the EDA grant does not get approved.
Huber said they would.
The supervisors agreed the county will never be able to attract a large industry to the Commerce Park until the water capacity is increased.
Massie District Supervisor Frank Conner said the other authorities the county has joined have “worked out well.”
He noted that the county may not get another chance at grant money for the project if the EDA grant is passed up.
“We can’t wait another 10 to 15 years to upgrade our facility to get water to the Commerce Park,” Ingles District Supervisor Ranny Akers added.
The supervisors agreed it would be in the county’s best interest to meet with Radford City officials to see if an agreement can be reached.

Comments

comments

Water project could begin much sooner

DUBLIN — A decision by the Pulaski County Board of Supervisors Monday night could result in a 50 percent reduction in the county’s cost of upgrading the local water treatment plant — and get the project completed years earlier than expected.
During a special called meeting held at New River Community College, the Board unanimously voted to approve a $3.4 million loan to the Pulaski County Public Service Authority to clear the way for the PSA to receive a $3.1 million federal grant.
David Rundgren, executive director of the New River Planning District Commission, said the loan will enable to PSA to provide a funding match required to receive the loan. He said securing the matching funds appears to be the only thing standing in the way of the U.S. Department of Commerce Economic Development Authority (EDA) grant.
The PDC has been working with the PSA on the grant application. However, he said, the EDA indicated they would have to show proof that the matching funds are in place before the application could be approved.
“They (EDA officials) wanted it certified today, but I think I got them to agree to an extension,” Rundgren said to the supervisors. “That’s why you’re here tonight.”
Rundgren explained that he contacted area banks and other potential sources for the funds, but there was no way to get an answer from them Monday.
Of the $3.4 million loan, County Administrator Peter Huber said $1.5 million could be provided by the regional Commerce Park improvements fund since any upgrades to the water system would include water service to the park.
According to a report prepared by county engineer Ronnie Coake in November, the water treatment plant is designed to produce 3 million gallons per day. It is presently producing about 2.2 million gpd.
Virginia Department of Health requires plans for expansion to begin once production reaches 80 percent of the capacity (2.4 million gpd) for three consecutive months. Therefore, Coake said, design should begin “in the near future.”
He said construction on an expansion project should begin in 2014 since the plant will reach its maximum production capacity in 2021.
According to Coake, the county has several options it can consider in dealing with the county’s water supply, but the two best options would be to either expand the current facility or try to work a deal with the City of Radford to purchase water for the east side of the county.
If part of the county’s water was purchased from Radford, the existing plant could continue to be used for the western side of the county.
If the county purchases water from Radford, Board of Supervisors Chairman Joe Sheffey asked if there is a way to ensure water can never be cut off to the county.
Huber said the best way to address that concern would be to form a water authority between Pulaski County and Radford. Then, other jurisdictions could buy into the authority too.
Coake estimated the annual cost of expanding the present plant (over a 20-year period) would be about $1.3 million.
That compares with about $92,000 per year to buy water if an agreement can be reached with the city.
Huber said it would be of “great benefit” to encourage industries to locate in the commerce park to have two separate water sources available to the park.
Coake added that a benefit of working out a deal with Radford would be that the project could be completed in a year or so, instead of the many years it would take to expand.
Draper District Supervisor Dean Pratt asked if the funds loaned to the PSA would be returned to county coffers if the EDA grant does not get approved.
Huber said they would.
The supervisors agreed the county will never be able to attract a large industry to the Commerce Park until the water capacity is increased.
Massie District Supervisor Frank Conner said the other authorities the county has joined have “worked out well.”
He noted that the county may not get another chance at grant money for the project if the EDA grant is passed up.
“We can’t wait another 10 to 15 years to upgrade our facility to get water to the Commerce Park,” Ingles District Supervisor Ranny Akers added.
The supervisors agreed it would be in the county’s best interest to meet with Radford City officials to see if an agreement can be reached.

Comments

comments

You must be logged in to post a comment Login