04/06/04 — Princeton town board agrees to penalty for sewer violations

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Princeton town board agrees to penalty for sewer violations

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on April 6, 2004 2:01 PM

PRINCETON -- The Princeton town board agreed Monday night to pay a state-imposed $1,892 penalty for three recent sewer plant violations caused by excessive rain.

Mayor Don Rains said the town had been notified in a letter from the state Attorney General's Office of the fines assessed by the Department of Environmental Health and Natural Resources.

The town had appealed the fines, Rains said, because of its efforts to repair the aging sewer system. The state reduced each penalty by $250.

Rains said the only other alternative was to appeal the fine in court.

"Going to court is not an option," said Commissioner Walter A. Martin Jr.

"It could have been worse," Commissioner Larry Withrow added.

Martin had said he was a little disappointed that the fines were reduced by only $250.

Rains said the town did get good news from the state. A possible $50-a-day penalty for not starting repairs on its system by December was withdrawn.

Princeton had been fined about $15,000 for numerous violations in 1999-2000, but the town appealed. The penalties were reduced to about $1,200. At the same time, the town had to commit to make improvements to its system by a certain date.

The town has received grants and loans of about $2 million to improve its sewer system. The money includes a recent $1,589,000 grant and loan from the U.S. Agriculture's Rural Development Administration and a $400,000 grant from the N.C. Rural Center.

The town board also Monday approved an interim financing plan from BB&T for $500,000 for six months at 2.83 percent interest for the sewer plant.

Park discussion

After a presentation by Kenny Woodard, the chairman of the town's Parks and Recreation Committee, the board agreed to hold Goldsboro contractor Chuck Allen to an April 30 deadline to grade the site for the proposed Ray M. Floors Park.

Allen, a Goldsboro city council member, was awarded the contract in June for $37,660. He has been paid $20,674.34, Town Clerk Marla Ashworth said Tuesday.

The work was supposed to start 60 days after Allen received a notice to proceed. No notice had been given, Mrs. Ashworth said.

Woodard told the town board that he had asked Allen to do the work or return the money. Woodard said Allen told him that he would start work this week.

Mayor Don Rains said if nothing were done soon, the town would take further, unspecified action.

Other business

In other business, the town board:

*Reappointed Marshall Price and promoted alternate member Brandon Holland as in-town members of the town's Planning Board, and named Loretta Woodard as an alternate member.

*Was told that Rains would attend a meeting April 27 in Troy to learn more about how the Montgomery County town has received grants to tear down old homes and replace them with new ones.