10/19/06 — Officials take look at combined utility plan

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Officials take look at combined utility plan

By Andrew Bell
Published in News on October 19, 2006 1:47 PM

Wayne County, its municipalities and the Wayne Water District system could work with the city of Goldsboro to develop a master utility plan, officials said Wednesday.

The organizations met o discuss discussed the possibility during a county-wide utilities meeting. Goldsboro's proposed master utility plan, along with support from the county and other municipalities and organizations, would allow all water and sewer systems to interconnect and use each other in times of need.

Wayne County Manager Lee Smith said the groups have an opportunity to work together to create a document that would focus on water and sewer capabilities and the needs for expansion over the next few decades.

Fremont Town Administrator Kerry McDuffie said his town would be interested in working with the county and Goldsboro in creating a county-wide master utility plan. Fremont officials are finishing a computerized map of water and sewer lines across the municipality. McDuffie said the town could work with Wayne County's geographic information system to expand on that work.

Walnut Creek officials said they are also working on a computerized map of their municipal lines. Wayne County Manager Lee Smith said the involvement of both municipalities and others across the county could provide the opportunity to connect utility lines all the way from Fremont to Mount Olive.

Growth in Fremont, Walnut Creek, Mount Olive and Grantham could create an interconnected system of water and sewer lines across the county, Smith said. But each municipality must work together and communicate, Eddie Coltrane of Wayne Water Districts said.

"We all need to educate one another so we can be more helpful to each other and the public," Coltrane said.

Representatives from Southern Wayne Sanitary District said interconnecting lines and creating a master utility plan is feasible, because there are residents in the southern end of Wayne County who want access to sewer lines. But those area residents can't afford the project on their own, they said.

Smith said the group should expand upon Goldsboro's master utility plan and work on supporting that plan and incorporating it into the county's plans to accommodate development. Wayne County Planning Director Connie Price said the county wouldn't enter the sewer and water business, but it could support the municipalities and the Wayne Water Districts in their efforts to expand services.

County, municipality and utility leaders agreed to meet again in a few weeks to try to come up with different ways the organizations can support the city of Goldsboro in its plan, and to look at ways to work together as a county.