Money to pay for water treatment plant requirements

A short meeting was long on expenditures for Havelock commissioners Monday night.

The board agreed to accept an offer for a State Revolving Loan for $2.5 million through the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality. The money will be used to build a backwash basin for the water plant on Brown Boulevard.

The basin is needed to capture mineral solids that are separated from the water that is pumped out of the city’s wells and treated prior to its consumption by customers. The mineral rich water is stored temporarily in a basin until solids have fallen out and the water can be discharged safely back into the environment in accordance with federal and state regulations.

The basin is required as part of the city’s new water treatment permit.

“This is a permit requirement, and unfortunately it is just one of those things that we have to do, however the state has thankfully come through,” said Lee Tillman, the city’s finance director.

The 20-year loan carries an interest rate of 1.6 percent, but the city will have to pay a $50,000 closing fee. Should the city be able to pay the loan off early, there would be no penalty, Tillman said.

Also during Monday’s meeting, Havelock Public Works Director Mark Sayger reported on expenditures needed on a variety of items including $1,825 for repairs to moisture-damaged flooring at the police department, $16,012 for replacement of a police department generator automatic transfer switch, and $90,238 for various repairs needed for 90 items found during a comprehensive inspection of 18 city buildings that found deficiencies in Occupational Health and Safety Administration regulations, fire codes or building codes.

Regarding the inspections, Sayger said the inspectors checked “every room and closet” and “looked under every desk.”

“This was the first concerted and comprehensive effort that the city of Havelock has probably ever undertaken as far as I am aware,” said Mayor Will Lewis.

The inspections were as a result of recommendations by OSHA.

“Let’s make sure all of our employees are safe and that all of our structures are safe,” Lewis said.

Commissioners voted to approve the repairs.

“We are trying to ensure that every workplace is up to today’s standards for safety, accessibility and usability,” City Manager Frank Bottorff said.

Additionally, Sayger said $63,000 was spent on a long-standing sewer problem at Cambridge Court, $28,860 was spent to repair a sewer line causing a sinkhole on Heron Moon Court, $12,168 was needed to repair a sewer line and sinkhole on Farina Drive, and $163,039 was needed for work on sewer lines along Oakwood Drive, where numerous overflows have happened in the past year.