11/06/07 — Water shortage worries officials

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Water shortage worries officials

By Anessa Myers
Published in News on November 6, 2007 1:45 PM

Goldsboro's conservation measures have eased the water shortage, but the danger that supplies will be limited in the future is prompting city officials to push for residents to keep conserving.

Water was a big issue at the City Council's work session Monday night, and Public Utilities Director Karen Brashear had some suggestions for citizens to decrease their daily usage even more.

Low-flow showerheads, car dusters, low-flow faucet aerators and low-flow toilets were a few suggestions that could save citizens anywhere from two to six gallons per minute per device.

Shower timers and shower flow controllers are also easy ways to save small bits of water daily, she said.

And most of the items can be purchased at home or hardware stores and are all inexpensive, she added.

The water situation could improve if residents would cut down just a little more, city officials said, but in the meantime, Goldsboro has moved forward with efforts to preserve the water available.

A temporary fix for the flood control structure owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers began Monday, Mrs. Brashear said, and the structure is expected to be accurately directing water again by the end of the week.

The flood control structure was not working properly, allowing 38 million gallons of water to bypass the city's intake system daily.

City officials are also hoping they can obtain permits to work on seven more interconnections with the Wayne Water District and other independent water districts and towns around the area. If these interconnections are established, the city could buy up to 3.5 million gallons of water daily from these districts.

But, even then, citizens would have to drastically cut back.

"If there is no water left in the Neuse River, we would need to reduce demand by 1.7 million gallons per day," Mrs. Brashear said.

Right now, the daily city usage is 5.2 million gallons -- an 18 percent reduction in daily usage from implementation of the first mandatory conservation stage in September.

Still, officials with the Corps of Engineers recently informed the city that they don't believe they will have water to release from Falls Lake after the second or third week in January of 2008, which could directly affect the available water in the city.

At the regular meeting, City Council approved using existing Community Development Block Grant funds to move the community recreation center to the next phase. The amount originally in the agenda was $425,000, but Parks and Recreation Director Sonya Shaw corrected the amount at the meeting to $420,000.

Council held one public hearing concerning a contiguous annexation request by the Gruma Corp. (Mission Foods) for property located on the north side of Gateway Drive between North Oak Forest Road and Commerce Court. No one spoke for or against.

A site plan for Wayne Memorial Hospital's modular building addition for use as a wound treatment clinic was also approved, with the stipulation that the hospital must utilize city sewer instead of a septic tank.

Council also approved items on the consent agenda including an amendment to the police drug-related budget, a zoning change from residential to general business conditional district for Kenneth D. Keesee's property on the south side of C.R. Lewis Dairy Road between Tom Herring Road and Old SR 1909, a revised site plan for S.T. Wooten for property located on the north side of U.S. Highway 70 West between Springwood Drive and J&L Drive and the closing of a portion of North John Street.

Council members also approved the closing of the 200 block of the northbound lane of North Center Street on Nov. 20 from 4 to 8 p.m. for the annual downtown "Lights Up" event.

An amendment to an agreement between the city and Self-Help as well as a golf course lease agreement were taken off of the agenda and moved to a meeting at a later date.

A site plan revision for a playground at Victory Free Will Baptist Church was also taken off the agenda because both sides reached a satisfactory agreement on the location of the new playground.

City Council recognized Nakia Atkins for academic achievement, the North Carolina Human Relations Commission 40th Anniversary Award Winners and the Goldsboro High School Color Guard and Drumline performers at the meeting.

JoAnne Daniels and Alice Watkins with the Alzheimer's Memory Walk committee spoke about raising $80,000 this year and thanked everyone who participated.