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News Franklin sewer plant renovations project comes in under budget

Sludge moves through the digester to eventually produce clean water. Photos by Margaret HardenAt Monday night's board of aldermen meeting, town officials received an update concerning the sewer plant renovations that began in May 2012. The project totaled around $5.5 million with $4.4 million coming from a loan and $1 million coming from a North Carolina Rural Center grant.

Town Manager Warren Cabe was on hand to offer the update.

“We are basically in the final stages. The substantial and final completion date was actually the first of October,” said Cabe. “We've actually been going through a punch list over there to make sure that we have all of the t's crossed and i's dotted. We're down to two or three very very minor things that the contractor needs to clean up, but essentially that project is finished.”

Cabe also informed the board that as of the morning of Nov. 4, the project had come in $541 under the budget.

“That doesn't sound too impressive on $5.5 million, but that's better than being in the red,” said Cabe.

According to Cabe, the capacity has not changed much, but the upgrades will allow the facility to be more efficient using what is already in place.

“With that renovation and the remanufacturing of the belt-press, it will probably get you through another 20 years,” he said.

Town Hall bid rejected

The old Town Hall building located on West Main Street was a topic of discussion. The board has been looking for potential buyers of the property. The parcel of property had been valued at $725,000 back in May, a $300,000 drop from what it was valued at in 2008.

Renovations to the sewer plant will help to improve efficiency of the machinery in place.“On Oct. 13, we did receive an offer from an individual to buy the property,” said Cabe. “The offer is for $155,000, cash offer. At this point, you have two options. You can say 'no' and reject the offer. You could accept the offer which would then open it up to a ten-day upset bid process where anyone could come in and make an offer and at the end of that period you'd have to come back in and decide which offer to accept.”

He also told the board that if they accepted the offer, when they reconvened they could decide that they were not happy with the offer and reject it then. Up until the final vote, the board would not be bound to the sale.

“I don't think it's in the ball park,” said Alderman Verlin Curtis. “I would like to make a motion that we just reject it.”

A machine used for screenings and grit removal.“Looking at it this way, I just don't think it would be fair to the taxpayers to take that,” said Alderman Bob Scott.

The board unanimously agreed to the motion to reject the bid of $155,000 for the old Town Hall property.

The next Board of Aldermen meeting will be held at Town Hall on Dec. 2 at 7 p.m.

Important dates:

  • Town hall will be closed on Monday Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day.
  • The Veterans Day parade will be Monday, Nov. 11, at 11 a.m.
  • Reception honoring outgoing board members will be Friday, Nov. 22, from 3 until 4 p.m.
  • Town hall will be closed Thursday, Nov. 28 and Friday, Nov. 29, for Thanksgiving.
  • The annual tree lighting ceremony will be Friday, Nov. 29, at 7 p.m.
  • Cookies with Santa will be Saturday, Nov. 30, from 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. at town hall.

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