09/08/04 — Princeton gets windfall on sewer, leaving more money for water

View Archive

Princeton gets windfall on sewer, leaving more money for water

By Jack Stephens
Published in News on September 8, 2004 2:01 PM

PRINCETON -- The Princeton town board got good news during Tuesday night's monthly meeting -- the cost of improving its sewer plant will be less than expected.

The town board awarded the project to T.A. Loving Co. The Goldsboro firm had submitted the low bid of $812,000 -- more than $100,000 less than the next-lowest of the four other bids.

The town's contract engineer, C.T. Clayton Sr. of New Bern, said Princeton will have about $165,000 left in grant money to use to upgrade its water system.

Mayor Don Rains thanked Clayton for his effort on the project.

The board approved Clayton's proposal to improve the water system after the engineer showed a four-foot piece of corroded water line at a home. The pipe had three large holes.

Clayton said the town "had many, many pipes just like this." He added that the U.S. Agriculture Department representative agreed that the town needed the project.

Clayton proposed a two-phase project. The first phase would include a water system map and a hydraulic water model to identify water-line sizing, repair and replacement needs. This preliminary engineering report would cost $35,250. The second phase would include design and construction.

Clayton also reported that sewer rehabilitation work by Portland Utilities should be completed in a month. The company is repairing service lines and patching streets where it had worked.

Annexations approved

Three small parcels of land were annexed at the request of property owners near the intersection of U.S. 70, Pearl Street and Edwards Road.

A public hearing was held on the request of Billy and Margaret Talton to annex 2.29 acres at the new Comco gas station, just north of U.S. 70. No one spoke during the hearing. The board approved the annexation.

The other annexation requests came from Cornerstone Development for about an acre for a small strip shopping center next to the Comco station and from Tri-R Foods for a small piece of land next to the Bojangles restaurant. A public hearing on these requests will be held during the Oct. 4 town board meeting.

Chief's report

The town board backed Police Chief Eddie Lewis' application for a three-year grant to pay for an officer to patrol U.S. 70 for one week a month. Lewis said a motorist died about a week after a recent collision on the busy highway at Pearl Street.

"We definitely have a problem there," Commissioner Walter Martin Jr. said. "We want people going to Bojangles, but we want to protect our citizens."

Lewis said his patrol car that was involved in a traffic crash at the same intersection was being repaired for $3,400. The insurance company settled for $4,200. The extra money will be used for equipment. The other driver was charged.

The board also agreed to Lewis's request pay a new officer $24,828.

Hours extended

The board amended an ordinance so that JC's Amusements, a billiard hall, can stay open an hour later on Friday and Saturday nights. The ordinance had set the weekend closing times for game rooms at midnight, but it was changed to 1 a.m. The change was approved in a 3-1 vote with Commissioner Larry Withrow in opposition.

The owner, Janet Coffey, had asked the board to consider extending the time from 11 p.m. to 1 a.m. on weekdays and to 2 a.m. on weekends. She also asked to extend the time limit indefinitely on Tuesdays so that tournaments could be completed. Mrs. Coffey said the players come from as far away as Raleigh. Police Chief Eddie Lewis backed her claim that there had been no problems at the business.

The board, however, balked at longer hours on weeknights.

Other business

In other business, the board:

*Agreed to pay a $375 fine imposed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration for safety violations at the sewer plant and maintenance shop.

*Reappointed Commissioner David Starling and Elmer Capps as trustees to the firemen's relief fund.

*Approved a $500 donation to the Community Building board so that a flagpole can be erected for Veterans Day.