Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority operation update

Karen MartinSpecial to The Tribune

January 17, 2013

Nicole Johnston, executive director of the Yadkin Valley Sewer Authority, presented an operations update to the Jonesville town council Monday night that included expenses for 2012 and proposed projects for 2013.

The 2012 budget was $1.5 million with an actual expense of $780,536. A breakdown of the expenses is as follows: repair and maintenance of pump stations $23,732; contracted services $81,988; general insurance $17,376; salaries and wages $133,208; group insurance $35,197; utilities $51,502; professional services $23,534 and supplies and maintenance $10,374.

“The YVSA is continuing to work on refinancing the USDA (United States Department of Agriculture) loan,” Johnston said. “If we can refinance the remaining debt ($946,500) with another lending institution, the YVSA will save a substantial amount of future interest based on the current borrowing rates and have a potential savings in excess of $450,000 over the course of the loan, reducing the term by 12 years.”

Johnston continued by saying that the Memorial Park pump station upgrade was complete and that $300,000 was financed with the BB&T Bank on a 10-year loan. The loan has an annual payment of $34,225, this being the oldest pump station in the entire collection system.

“There are 28 stations in the system at present and we will be closing four of the pump stations leaving us with 24,” Johnston said. “The caustic building addition at the wastewater treatment plant is almost complete. Due to the variable fluctuations that have occurred at the water waste treatment plant with pH variances being so close to the lower limit of six, we have added caustic additions to the water to buffer the pH well in the seven range, (which is ideal for our oxidation ditches). The pH limit per NCDENR (North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources), permit is 6.0 - 9.0.

“Our plan is to rehabilitate 14 of the existing 28 pump stations and as said before takeout four leaving us with a total of 24,” Johnston said. “The Hampton Inn pump station in Jonesville will be getting a new pump as well as a new generator and we will also be replacing some concrete pads and performing clean up at all of the pump stations.

The Osborne station is the one we have the most trouble with and it will get a complete rehab,” she said. “Some of the other stations will be getting new control panels also.”

The pump station rehab projects are proposed to cost an estimated 1.050 million.

“We propose to fund the projects with a grant for half the amount at a principal forgiveness and the remaining half with a loan with zero percent for 20 years,” Johnston said. “We also will be applying a $300,000 ARC (Appalachian Regional Commission), grant which will bring the total to 1.350 million. This will allow us to rehab 13 pump stations in Jonesville and Elkin and eliminate four pump stations.”

The pump stations that will be eliminated include the Ghant and Welborn stations in Jonesville and the North Elkin Drive and Marion Road stations in Elkin.

“Generators will be added at multiple pump stations,” Johnston said. “These include on the Jonesville side: PVH, River Road, Osborne and Hampton Inn. On the Elkin side the stations receiving new generators will include the Industrial Park (Armory); Yorkfield; Colonial Village and the pump station at NC 268 and Johnson Ridge.”

The rehab of the Southwest Elkin Outfall is proposed to cost $800,000.

“Other projects proposed are an upgrade of the Candlewyck pump station, a rehab of the Little Dutchman Creek II pump station, various repairs downstream from the Candlewyck location and a draft for an Industrial User Permit for the PGW (Pittsburgh Glass Works),” Johnston said. “As an update on the Pretreatment and FOG (fats, oils and greases), program with NCDENR, all programs have been drafted and we expect final approval once NCDENR has completed their approvals.”

Johnston continued by tell the board that the YVSA staff and consultants were working diligently to obtain any grants available and any low interest loans that may be used to meet the challenges of the YVSA.