Jonesville and state officials helped welcome the town’s new water plant Friday, an event that has not occurred in Jonesville for more than 50 years.
Town Manager Scott Buffkin and Town Council member Andy Greene spoke inside the plant building itself at a special ribbon cutting ceremony attended by the town council and various dignitaries, including a representative for Senator Richard Burr’s office and local mayors of Boonville and East Bend.
A possible link between the town’s water plant and Boonville is underway.
Greene fought back tears as he recalled the long building process, the work involved, and the completion of a project that many thought might be impossible.
“I said I wasn’t going to get emotional. Today is a day that I’ve looked forward to for a long time,” Greene said.
Marvin P. Hutchinson of USDA Rural Development, Jimmy D. Woodie of Municipal Engineering Services Co. Inc., and Daniel Lynch of Jimmy R. Lynch and Sons, Inc. all took turns speaking at a podium located between the plant’s two massive water tanks. Mayor Pro-Tem Gene Pardue opened the ceremony with an invocation.
Rows of chemical tanks stood along the wall to their right, holding the treatment chemicals needed to purify the more than one million gallons of water the plant produces daily.
Greene detailed how the previous town council had weighed the decision years ago as to either bandage the old water plant or “bite the bullet” and build anew.
The new building took time and suffered delays along the way.
Bids were received by a variety of engineering firms, but the proposals came in more than $1 million in excess, causing the then-Town Council to redo the plans and resubmit them for state approval.
Eventually the town granted the bid to Jimmy R. Lynch and Sons, Inc. who won the bid two years ago with a bid of $3,794,508, not including related expenses.
The town received $1 million from a North Carolina Rural Center grant, $621,300 from the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Rural Utilities Service, and a $500,000 contribution from Yadkin County.
The remainder was provided through the issuance of revenue bonds at a rate of 3.25 percent for a repayment period of 40 years.
In the end the work was “like a puzzle” Greene said, with the last few pieces falling into place.
Greene and Buffkin were joined by members of the engineering and planning team.
The plant is the first of its kind in North Carolina. The system is the first stand-alone microsand ACTIFLO® system used for the complete treatment of water. Officials said other plants utilize the system for pre-treatment of water but use conventional methods for the actual treatment process.
The new Jonesville plant uses the system for the entire treatment of the water.
The former water plant, which now stands a short distance to the side of the new building, was manually run and required workers to treat the water chemically by hand.
The new plant is automated and will likely cut the costs of chemicals required, although the cost of electricity will be higher for the increased machinery usage.
The system is a product of Kruger Inc., a provider of water and wastewater treatment process solutions, according to the company’s website. It is a subsidiary of Veolia Water, an international full service water and wastewater company.
Kruger is now located in Cary, N.C.
The new plant has also allowed Jonesville to share resources with neighboring Elkin. A pipe runs under the Yadkin River which will allow the two towns to share water in emergency circumstances.
Greene said the former mayor and town council were faced with similarly difficult decisions roughly 50 years ago on how to handle the town’s water needs and gave the town something special that had lasted 50 years.
He and others involved hoped this new water plant will serve Jonesville for many decades as well.
“We have something here to be proud of. This new facility should serve the town of Jonesville for many, many years to come, and we’re just so thankful to be a part of it,” Greene said.
To contact Taylor Pardue call 336-835-1513 ext. 15, or email him at email@example.com.