County Commissioners talk Seven Lakes sewers

Public Works Director Randy Gould took the podium at a Moore County Board of Commissioners meeting on Feb. 20 to answer questions and discuss a proposed contract regarding the potential Seven Lakes Sewer Project.

Though the project is still early in development, Gould’s goal at the meeting was to secure funding for a professional service agreement with LKC Engineering, PLLC, to have a survey conducted for the scope of work the project would entail.

Commissioner Frank Quis initially asked for clarification on which specific areas would be served and in which order the projects would be completed. Gould disclosed that the business district is being focused on at this time.

The full Scope of Services packet provided by LKC Engineering described the plan more in-depth.

“It is recognized that public sanitary sewer service is needed in the Seven Lakes/West End communities, particularly in the commercial areas along and near NC 211,” outlined the Scope of Services packet. “The purpose of this project is to extend public sewer service to the Seven Lakes business district and convey the wastewater to Pinehurst for further collection and treatment.”

The drafted plan disclosed that the project would cover the construction of sewer facilities within the Seven Lakes business district. This involves the installation of components such as a new sewer pump station (proposed to be near Food Lion) and a 10” force main extending to NC-211. Additionally, plans include the development of an 8” gravity sewer network within the business district, spanning approximately 5,000 feet along Trade Street and MacDougal Drive.

Gould noted that the addition of the sewer lines would also impact highway-facing properties in West End and hopes “development of those properties would be encouraged by sewer being present.”

The document also outlined the work that would go into the survey, stating the survey would: “capture topographic information, existing conditions such as road signs, power poles, driveway culverts, roadway cross drainage piping and culverts, hardscaping, and other as-built conditions to support the design process.”

Commissioner Nick Picerno questioned whether Gould believed $15 million and previous funds provided to the project would be enough to cover the entirety of the work. The project has already been allotted significant funds —$15 million from the state and previous money from the American Rescue Plan (ARP) funds from Moore County Commissioners — to make it happen.

“No, sir, I don’t think it’ll cover all the collections systems, which hasn’t been fleshed out yet,” Gould admitted. “The part that will not be covered is the collection system itself. We have to determine all the customers that need sewer in Seven Lakes; that’ll be part of the study.”

Picerno, while expressing support for the project, vocalized from the start that he hopes to organize a special meeting in Seven Lakes before any real work begins. The objective will be to invite residents from Seven Lakes to engage with the board, ask questions, and review specifics covered in the plan, including its potential impacts on local businesses.

Picerno stated that the commissioners are already receiving questions about the project from Seven Lakes and West End residents despite the plan still being in its preliminary stages, so he wants their voices to be heard.

Quis, much like Picerno, stated that he would like to hear input from Seven Lakes residents and agreed that a meeting with the specific goal of tackling this topic in Seven Lakes would be helpful. He concluded that he would like to see the study expanded and would be interested in the survey results.

Additionally, Quis was curious about the rate of septic system failures in the Seven Lakes area, which he heard is becoming a problem and is costly to property owners. Gould did not have that figure or know specifics but stated that residents could speak on these issues at a public meeting.

“We need sign-ups. We need people to put deposits down, so we can get a commitment of how many customers we’re going to have, where they’re going to be, and make sure we get the lines to serve those [customers],” said Gould. “If people don’t hook up, we don’t really need to run a line in front of those businesses, but we expect to have quite a bit of demand out there.”

Picerno made a motion to award the professional service agreement with LKC Engineering for the Seven Lakes Sewer Project for an amount not to exceed $1,506,000. The motion passed unanimously.

~Article by Sandhills Sentinel Reporter Abegail Murphy. Feature photo provided by Patrick Priest, Sandhills Sentinel.

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