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Halifax County’s unemployment rate jumped from 8.3 percent in June to 8.8 percent in July. Over 900 people left the labor force, which numbered 15,974 in June, but fell to…

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Halifax County Water authority eyes loans to do priority projects

SoVaNow.com / January 21, 2013
Board members with the Halifax County Service Authority are turning their attention to obtaining loans that would allow the HCSA to carry out projects that are part of its recently-completed strategic plan.

HCSA Executive Director Willie Jones, who announced earlier this month that he will be leaving his post at the end of June, advised board members to consider several projects, the first being the Cowford Road, waste water treatment plants conversion.

The project will replace the current treatment plant with a new pump station which increase the sewer capacity from 300,000 gallons per day to 500,000 gallons per day.

The major part of the cost of this project, currently set at $1,674,662, is for the force main that must be constructed from the current plant to the sewer line near the Greens Folly Golf Course. Jones said another $100,000 may be needed to cover the cost of easements and agreements that need to be obtained.

The second project discussed by the board was the replacement of the Lasco pump station, located in the Halifax Industrial Park on Route 58 west. That station, Jones said, has been running at capacity for the past several months and with several underutilized facilities in the park, flows could potentially increase. He estimated replacement costs there at some $150,000.

Finally, Jones said the Strategic Plan called for a Facilities Plan which will identify and prioritize those projects which are needed to maintain the Authority’s level of services. He estimated that such a study would cost between $40,000 and $50,000. He said the study would establish a priority for water tank repair/replacement, sewer line repairs, hydrant maintenance and all the critical issues that need to be considered.

He pointed out that the Authority already has $278,319 of loan money from Rural Development that can be used for the Cowford Road project. With a $20,000 loan and a $20,000 grant both from SERCAP, he recommended borrowing $1.7 million to cover all three projects. That amount he expects can be borrowed at an interest rate of 2.7 percent over a 20 year term.

Jones said after analyzing the projects, the conversion of the Cowford Road plant would provide a net savings after paying the debt service and the Lasco savings would come from not having to replace the 4-5 pumps that the Authority has had to do over the past year.

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