Volume 16, Number 7
Many people in the Jones Dairy and Willow Deer subdivisions along Jones Dairy Road were shocked when they opened their November-December water and sewer bills and found they had doubled in a month and without notice.
“My bill went from $91 last month to $175 due in Jan (same number of water units/CCF used),” Teri Patterson wrote to The Wake Forest Gazette seeking information the Gazette had about the agreement between Jones Dairy and the Town of Wake Forest. She has lived in Jones Dairy for 17 years.
Since then, neighbors have been questioning the bills, calling Raleigh’s public utilities department and organizing. The Wake Forest Weekly published a front-page article by Associated Editor David Leone, and the Raleigh public utilities department this week wrote a lengthy letter, printed it on door hangers and had the letters hand delivered to the Jones Dairy and Willow Deer subdivisions.
The department has also organized a public meeting in the Wake Forest Town Hall on Wednesday, January 17. That letter is published below with a number of articles that were published in The Wake Forest Gazette in the spring and fall of 2004.
In 2004 and for at least three years before, Wake Forest town officials had been struggling to find the right way to address the water needs of a suddenly exploding population. In 1990 the town had 5,581 residents after two decades of steady growth; in 2000 the U.S. Census found 12,588 (the town said 14,288) and by 2004 there were 20,300 people in town.
In 2004 the Wake Forest Town Board voted to agree to Raleigh taking ownership of the town’s water and sewer systems including the water treatment plant and the sewer treatment plant.
At the same time the town board and officials were being asked to provide sewer to Jones Dairy and Willow Deer subdivisions. The Wake Forest Gazette published a steady stream of articles about the water talks – remaining independent or merging – and the requests from Robert Jones who had developed the two subdivisions and others.
Below also are the articles about Jones’s requests and two articles about the merger debate. The highlighting of some information was done by the editor this week.
Letter from Raleigh Public Utilities Department
January 9, 2018
To: Jones Dairy Farm and Willow Deer Subdivision Homeowners
Re: City of Raleigh Water/Waste Water Utility Bill Changes
Dear City of Raleigh Utility Customer:
Within the past month you may have received a notification of a billing change and/or a utility bill that was higher than your previous bills. This letter is intended to explain why utility bills have changed for some customers in the Jones Diary Farm and Willow Deer neighborhoods.
During a recent data comparison with the utility billing software system some of the homes within Jones Dairy Farm and Willow Deer Subdivision there were accounts identified as being incorrectly billed. Some homes were being billed at inside city limits rates, when the properties were actually outside the city limits of the Town of Wake Forest. The inside city limits water and sewer rates are half the outside city limits rates.
To correct this billing discrepancy, staff researched the effected (sic) properties to confirm accuracy and then began making system changes to ensure each property was being billed accurately. This caused an increase in some customers’ monthly water and sewer rates. Not every customer in these subdivisions have received a notice or modified bill because every account change has not yet been processed. In addition, some properties within the subdivisions were being billed appropriately at the outside city limits rate and do not require a change.
Over the past week the City has been contacted by many customers with concerns about the changes to their bills. Because of the number of questions and comments we have received, the City has stopped processing changes and is investigating the matter in more detail. We are also partnering with the Town of Wake Forest to compile responses to as many of the questions as we possibly can and we will restore the original rate structure for those who were billed with inside city rates until the City is able to review all cases and respond to all concerns.
To provide an opportunity for each customer to speak directly with the City of Raleigh Public Utilities Leadership, we have scheduled an open house style meeting between the hours of 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Wednesday, January 17, at the Wake Forest Town Hall (301 S. Brooks St., Wake Forest). Interested parties may stop in at any point during this time to receive additional information and discuss their specific concerns with utility staff members.
Many homeowners have requested to speak with the Raleigh City Council on Tuesday, February 6, 2017. Currently, two homeowners in the Jones Dairy Farm neighborhood have volunteered to coordinate the communication with the Raleigh City Council. If you would like to speak with them about the Council petition, please feel free to do so by contacting Angela Humphries at email@example.com or Teri Patterson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have received a bill with outside rates due to the recent change, we will adjust your bill to reflect the inside rate. The adjustment will show on your next bill. If you have questions or need your current balance, please contact either Karen Ray, 919-996-2379, or Maurice Hester, 919-996-1933.
Karen E. Ray
Assistant Public Utilities Director
City of Raleigh
Cc: Town of Wake Forest
Robert Massengill, Public Utilities Director
Kenneth Waldroup, Asst. Public Utilities Director
Susan Decker, Customer Care and Billing Manager
June 16, 2004
House resales upset plan to annex Jones Dairy Farm
If everything had gone according to plan, the Town of Wake Forest might be considering a voluntary annexation of the Jones Dairy Farm and Willow Deer subdivisions.
The residents there are already town water customers and have Wake Forest addresses. Every election year, Town Clerk Joyce Wilson says, residents call to ask why they cannot vote in Wake Forest elections.
Since 1986, when the Jones brothers, Robert and Roy Ed, decided their land was more valuable growing houses than crops for their dairy farm, all the water and sewer construction has been to the Town of Wake Forest standards and inspected by the town. JVC Homes – the original company included George VanNortwick – paid the town’s water availability and recreation fees.
The nearest town sewer main was prohibitively far away – down Forestville Road – so JVC had to build its own package wastewater treatment plant on Austin Creek. “We would have loved to have had it [town sewer],” Robert Jones, who has since bought out VanNortwick and his brother, said. Since 1986, the plant has also contracted to serve the 117 customers in Willow Deer subdivision, customers in Northampton subdivision, Jones Dairy Elementary School, the day care center next door and of course it serves the 370 homes in Jones Dairy Farm subdivision.
Home buyers were asked to sign a contract stating they would not oppose annexation when and if the town decided to annex the subdivision.
Eighteen months ago Jones asked the state to allow them to increase their sewer charge, and the state said that, although the plant is operating well and could serve more customers, they should look for an alternative. Jones did not complain. “It’s time for Jones Dairy to be in the Town of Wake Forest.”
The alternative is the 18-inch, 6,900-foot sewer line that will cost about $700,000 and run from Heritage Wake Forest to the plant. Jones and Bowling Green developer Steve Gould are building the line. Along the way it will serve Bowling Green, Bishops Grant and Austin Creek subdivisions – and more.
The line could have been built at 8 inches, but the Town of Wake Forest, looking to the future, asked for the additional 10 inches at a cost of $125,000 to $150,000.
“It will enable Wake Forest to go to Averette Road and go on to (N.C.) 96,” Jones said.
With the line construction underway, Jones applied to the town last month to take over his treatment plant customers, and the town is willing.
But by then one of the “ghosts” that Jones said have haunted the proceedings turned up. Over half the houses in Jones Dairy and Willow Deer have been resold and resold again, and the contracts agreeing to annexation have been lost in the paper shuffle. Neither subdivision can be voluntarily annexed because that requires 100 percent agreement from the homeowners. “You can’t get 100 percent even in church,” Jones said during Tuesday morning’s meeting of the public utilities committee.
In May, after the town board agreed to take the Jones Dairy customers, it sent the question of the sewer availability fee to the public utilities committee, Commissioners Rob Bridges and Velma Boyd-Lawson. Since the new customers are not in town, the town cannot assess them.
We can not afford to pay the $638,000 that Deputy Town Manager Roe O’Donnell calculated based on the flow at the treatment plant, Jones said.
Instead, Jones asked that the town pay for the oversize portion of the sewer line and in return begin collecting the sewer fees, about $17,000 a month.
“We’ll run the plant for nothing until we get that line in,” Jones said. He also said that when he and Atlantic Homes from Chesapeake, Va., were holding meetings with neighbors about the planned Austin Creek subdivision, one of the most common questions was when they were going to be annexed.
“Our policy is we collect availability fees from everybody,” O’Donnell said, although the town did not charge the nonprofit Wake Forest Boys & Girls Club, making it a donation, and cannot charge, by state law, the county school system. “To my knowledge it’s never been waived and never not collected. We’ve kind of stuck by our policy.”
“You can waive it or adjust it,” Planning Director Chip Russell.
“We don’t want to set a precedent here,” Bridges said, but he like the others at the meeting began asking if there were precedents in other towns.
Jones’ son, Tracy, who works at JVC and operates the treatment plant, said the company bought the 300-home Smoketree subdivision on Capital Boulevard out of bankruptcy and operated that treatment plant. “We hooked up a little trailer park and they (the City of Raleigh) assessed them no fees.” Also, Tracy Jones said, when Raleigh took over Rolesville’s sewer, people were able to hook up for two years for free.
In the end, Bridges and Boyd decided to take the thorny questions of who pays for what back to the entire board of commissioners at its July work session. The work session will be held on Tuesday, July 13, the same date as the public hearing about rezoning for the Austin Creek subdivision.
July 14, 2004
$300,000 sewer fee difference troubles WF board
Tuesday night Robert Jones, the developer of Jones Dairy and Willow Deer subdivisions, offered to let the Town of Wake Forest take over his sewer customers.
Jones, who is building an 18-inch sewer line that could serve both subdivisions plus Jones Dairy Elementary School and the next-door day care, proposed he, rather than the town, pay the $125,000-$150,000 it is costing to upgrade the sewer line from 8 inches, an increase the town required. In addition, he would operate his existing package wastewater treatment plant for three months but turn the estimated $18,000 a month in fees from his 370 customers over to the town.
That would add up to about $200,000.
The problem is the sewer availability fees the town would ordinarily charge total about $500,000, based on the average flow at Jones’ treatment plant.
“What do we tell Heritage” and all those other developers who have or will be paying the regular fees? Commissioner David Camacho asked. “You are asking us to subsidize them (Jones’ customers) by bringing them on line.”
“I think we paid you,” Jones said. “We have paid a double water bill since 1986.” All of the Jones Dairy and Willow Deer residents pay the out-of-town water rate, double that for in-town residents.
The town agreed to provide water to Jones for his developments under a bulk contract. A water line to Rolesville, another Wake Forest customer, runs down Jones Dairy Road. At that time, 1986, Jones could not tie into town sewer because the nearest town sewer main was too distant to make it economically feasible. The 18-inch line is possible because Heritage Wake Forest has extended lines much closer to Jones Dairy Road.
If the town does not decide to take over Jones’ customers, he said, “The plant can sit right there and operate. If you didn’t take the sewer customers, I could pick up the phone today and sell it. The sewer rate (for his customers) would be double in one month.”
If there is a new plant owner and the town decides later to annex the two subdivisions, Jones said the town would have to buy the plant. “I’m offering to give it to you.”
The town cannot assess sewer availability fees against the subdivisions’ residents because they are not in town although they have Wake Forest addresses.
And annexation is a thorny topic the Wake Forest commissioners did not address Tuesday night. When Jones sold the homes in the subdivisions to the first owners, the deed included a provision they would not contest annexation. However, that provision was lost in subsequent resales of most of the homes.
Jones urged annexation. “It’s time for Jones Dairy people to start belonging to a town.”
However, Town Manager Mark Williams said it would have to be a forced, rather than a voluntary, annexation. The town has done forced annexations in the past – Forestville and the west side of town are two – but they were contested and the resulting lawsuits were expensive and dragged on for years.
When Jones asked for the water contract, the town required he build the subdivisions’ streets and utilities to town specifications and pay all the other fees, such as recreation.
“The bottom line,” Williams said, “is that Jones Dairy is really no different from any new subdivision except the subdivision was built first versus a raw piece of land.”
The last extension of Jones Dairy subdivision, called Austin Creek, was annexed late in 2003, and the planning board unanimously recommended approval of its master plan and zoning later Tuesday night. Jones still can build about 200 homes using the 1986 water contract; after those homes, he will have to finish Austin Creek at the 50-building-permit-per-year limit the town has set unless he receives special permission for more or until the town drops the limit once it has a new source of water.
Austin Creek is north of Jones Dairy subdivision, and the recently approved Bowling Green subdivision is north of Willow Deer and Jones Dairy. If other subdivisions are built along Wait Avenue and Jones Dairy Road, Jones’ two subdivisions could become a doughnut hole for the town.
“I don’t want a doughnut hole,” Camacho said, “but I don’t want a forced annexation. Those people are going to be hopping mad.”
“They were expecting to be in the town of Wake Forest,” Jones said. “I’m not sure what would happen.”
Jones’ offer and the question of the sewer availability fees will be on the town board’s agenda next Tuesday night, July 20.
Oct. 6, 2004
Merger public hearing set for Oct. 19
New merger date would be April 1, 2005
The Wake Forest Town Board received the latest version of the proposed water and sewer merger agreement with Raleigh Tuesday night and set the date for the public hearing about merger for Tuesday, Oct. 19, at the beginning of its regular monthly meeting.
There are a number of changes in the Oct. 1 draft from earlier versions:
— The transfer date, the day on which Raleigh would take ownership of the town’s water and sewer systems, has been advanced from Jan. 1, 2005, to April 1, 2005.
— A growth rate of 6 percent in housing and/or population for the five years between 2010 and 2015, a rate requested by the Wake Forest Town Board, will be possible.
By purchasing a million gallons of water during the first five years, Town Manager Mark Williams noted in a two-page highlights memo, the town could have a growth rate of between 5.5 and 6 percent between 2010 and 2015, depending on the number of houses built between 2005 and 2010. If the town adds 1,000 houses a year in the first five years of merger, a growth rate of 5.5 percent can be achieved in the second five years.
Board members had worried it would be impossible to drop from an 8 percent or 10 percent growth rate in the first five years of merger to the 4 percent Raleigh wanted to see.
The growth rates in the merger agreement are for percentage increases in the amount of water available to the town, not growth in population or housing units. The financial projections the city and town have agreed on show an increase in the town’s water consumption of 12 percent during fiscal year 2005, 7 percent during fiscal 2006, 10 percent during fiscal 2007, 9 percent during fiscal 2008 and 8 percent during fiscal 2009. It drops to 6 percent from fiscal 2010 onward.
Commissioner Stephen Barrington asked if the town should purchase more than a million gallons, a question greeted by a few giggles from other board members.
— The transition period, the time during which Wake Forest’s water and sewer rates and fees pay for a list of capital upgrades and the 1-million-gallon-per-day in additional Raleigh water, is estimated at seven years.
During that transition period, Wake Forest water and sewer customers will continue to pay the same rates they do today.
The capital upgrades are estimated to cost $14 million, and the additional water will cost $3.5 million ($3.50 a gallon). “The actual cost could mean less time or more time,” Williams said. The time could be shortened if the town adds a significant number of new customers and collects more money. The merger projects in Garner and Rolesville were built at less than estimated, he said, but on the other hand steel prices have risen recently and may go up more because of rebuilding in Florida and other states devastated by hurricanes.
— If Raleigh sells or trades the town’s nitrogen allocation of 67,579 pounds per year – the amount the wastewater plant can put in the Neuse River – Raleigh has agreed to reimburse the town at the current value of $22 per pound. This was one of the assets Williams and the town board wanted Raleigh to acknowledge as having value.
— All the current town employees who will be transferred to Raleigh will be offered jobs with no loss of pay, annual or sick leave, retirement or other benefits.
— There will be monthly water/sewer billings for Wake Forest customers with the town paying for the extra six billings. Raleigh bills its customers every other month.
Although the new draft calls for Raleigh employees to do all the meter reading, Williams said, “We more than likely will do all the meter readings. We’re not intending to send any meter readers to Raleigh.”
The town’s water meters will be replaced before merger takes effect. Raleigh measures its water in cubic feet while Wake Forest measures in gallons.
— Raleigh will return the reservoir and 67 acres near the wastewater treatment plant to the town after the city no longer needs the property.
Raleigh intends to continue using the G.G. Hill Water Purification Plant on Wait Avenue and the reservoir for the 1.2 million gallons a day the plant and lake can produce. The 67 forested acres will be used for sludge application and returned to the town within 30 years, after which it is slated to become a town park.
While Raleigh owns the reservoir, town residents can use it for recreation but only battery-powered motors will be allowed. The town may also build park and recreation facilities around the reservoir while Raleigh owns it.
Wake Forest will also retain title to its utility easements, giving Raleigh employees access as needed. Most of the town’s utility easements have more than one purpose, sharing rights-of-way for electric lines with sewer mains, for instance.
The commissioners set the Oct. 19 date for the hearing after Williams said there is a tight time schedule for merger “plus, if we mean to stay independent, we need to spend the money.”
Oct. 6, 2004
Keep annexation, sewer plant purchase separate, manager says
The perplexing question of what to do about the package wastewater plant that serves Jones Dairy and Willow Deer subdivisions, Jones Dairy Elementary School and a daycare center will be on the Wake Forest Town Board’s agenda on Oct. 19.
Town Manager Mark Williams warned them to keep the question of the plant entirely separate from any consideration about making the subdivisions and school part of the town.
When Robert Jones and his brother, Roy Ed, began the subdivisions they petitioned the town for water service, which was provided by the line running to Rolesville. The homeowners pay double water rates. All of the town’s sewer lines were too distant to be economical to reach, so the Joneses built the package plant and still operate it. Both water and sewer lines have been built to the town’s standards.
Now Robert Jones plans to develop Austin Creek, a subdivision north of Jones Dairy on Wait Avenue, and he is cooperating with Steve Gould, who is building Bowling Green subdivision on Wait, to install an 18-inch sewer line to serve all four subdivisions plus have room for future growth.
Robert Jones had always planned that the town would become the sewer provider for Jones Dairy and Willow Deer, but the individual homeowner agreements that would have made voluntary annexation possible were dropped as the homes changed hands.
With the sewer line underway, Robert Jones has asked the town to accept the subdivisions and schools as sewer customers, accept $150,000 from him for the increased size of the sewer line and allow him to get out of the sewer business. If the town does not accept the new customers, Jones plans to sell the plant to another operator.
The issue causing problems for the town board is who or whether anyone should pay the availability fee (plant capacity) charged to new customers. He says he cannot afford to pay the availability fees for all those homes, and no one apparently wants to contemplate asking the subdivisions’ residents to pay.
“I think we’d be making a lot of enemies if we said we’re going to take over your sewer system and you’ll have to pay the availability fees,” Mayor Vivian Jones said. She said she is against a forced annexation and against Robert Jones giving the plant to the town and not paying any availability fees.
Robert Jones has stood by his offer made several months ago. “I would like you to take the sewer customers,” he said Tuesday night during the board’s work session. “I think I had offered to give you the upsizing of the line, offered to give you a few months’ sewer bills.” Robert Jones said the homeowners would save money if they were annexed because their water bills would be cut in half.
Williams said the homeowners effectively paid availability fees when they purchased their homes because Jones’ cost to install the sewer system was added into the cost of the house.
“The only issue, the only value to the town is acquiring it (the plant) now versus acquiring it later,” Williams said. With a new owner, the town would have to pay fair market value. “This is the best opportunity for the town.”
“If we don’t annex them now, we don’t annex them later,” Jones said.
“If we want to assume Jones Dairy subdivision is going to be a part of Wake Forest, we’ll be forced to annex by ordinance,” Williams said.
Later, he said, “Maybe we never annex them, just leave that pocket of property out of the city limits. I don’t think that’s wise because we’re going to develop all around them.” If that happens, the subdivisions’ residents will enjoy all the benefits of a town without paying for them.
And, Williams said, if there is an environmental problem with the package plant in a few years, the town might have to go in and install a sewer line to serve the area.
Commissioner Rob Bridges agreed it would be a forced annexation – “You may get 99 percent, but you’re not going to get 100 percent” – and that the town should consider annexation now rather than 10 years from now. “I personally don’t want to pay three to four million to buy this.”
Although Bridges and Commissioner Chris Malone suggested a public hearing for the Jones Dairy and Willow Deer residents and the possibility of sending a letter was also floated, neither suggestion gained much support for now.
Board agrees to take Jones Dairy sewer customers
Beginning Dec. 1, the residents of Jones Dairy and Willow Deer subdivisions will be served by the Wake Forest sewer system. They already get their water from the town.
Tuesday night, the Wake Forest Town Board agreed to accept all the 620 residential customers as well as the Jones Dairy Elementary School and the next-door day care center now served by the package plant Robert Jones, who developed the two subdivisions, operates. Jones will decommission the plant and sell it for use at another location.
In exchange, Jones will pay the town $155,291.98, the same amount the town agreed Tuesday night to pay Steve Gould for oversizing the sewer line that will serve his Bowling Green subdivision as well as Jones’ future Austin Creek, the existing Jones Dairy, Northampton and Willow Deer subdivisions and future development east to Averette Road.
Gould and Jones are installing the sewer line jointly, and Jones had earlier offered to pay for the oversizing from 8 inches to 18 inches. Deputy Town Manager Roe O’Donnell said it was best to separate the two issues.
The commissioners had been concerned that Jones and/or the subdivision residents would not be paying the upfront availability fee for sewer required for all new customers.
Commissioner David Camacho said that what he had heard from several community people, “whether other builders or large building companies, was that they had paid the fees and bent over backward to get these connections, that to just give these away would be a slap in the face. It comes back to fair and equity things. Other people are watching this with interest.” Camacho was the only one voting against accepting the customers.
There is a difference of about $350,000 between the estimated sewer availability fees from the subdivisions and the payment Jones will make.
Their dilemma, Commissioner Rob Bridges said, was whether “we are willing to take on the sewer customers now at a loss or have to buy it later.” Jones has said he does not want to continue to operate the plant. If Wake Forest did not accept the plant and customers, he would sell it to another operator.
“The loss now is pennies compared to what we would be paying later,” Commissioner Stephen Barrington said.
Although the commissioners acted on Town Manager Mark Williams suggestion at their work session that they consider the sewer question and the possible annexation of the two subdivisions separately, it was clear they may consider annexation.
Bridges mentioned the agreements in the sales contracts when the homes were originally sold, in which the new owners agreed not to fight annexation. Later he asked if it would be possible to charge the homeowners the availability fee if and when the area is annexed. No, Williams said, but the town could charge to upgrade the system.
Commissioner Chris Malone wanted to know if the town could impose a transition period after annexation similar to that proposed in the water and sewer merger contract. “We possibly could if we could justify a surcharge of some type,” Williams said.
Jones built the water and sewer systems to town specifications. Jones Dairy and Willow Deer residents pay the double water rate charged all out-of-town customers, and their sewer charges will be based on their water use. O’Donnell said it would be close to the present flat fee of $34 a month.
Nov. 17, 2004
WF board unanimously agrees to water/sewer merger
In the end, it all came down to the old do-re-mi.
The Wake Forest commissioners and mayor said maintaining the town’s independent water and sewer systems would place too heavy a financial burden on the systems’ customers. They voted unanimously for a contract under which Raleigh will own and operate the systems.
“In a perfect world, I think we would want to have our own system, would want to have our own water,” Mayor Vivian Jones said.
Every member of the board has struggled with this vote, Jones said, asking residents to give the board members credit for making a decision based on what they think is best for the town. “It has been much harder than any other vote.”
That may not be true for Commissioner Stephen Barrington. “I’m paying my water bill every month, and I want the best rate possible. I wish we had done this a couple years ago.”
“If I was voting just for me, I would vote in a heartbeat to remain independent,” Commissioner Rob Bridges said.
Bridges thanked George Rogers, the town’s water resources supervisor, who spoke in favor of an independent system during two recent public hearings. “I tend to agree with a lot of your comments, and I appreciate your services.”
Bridges asked Town Manager Mark Williams about the cost on independence.
It would cost about $25 million to get Neuse River water to town customers, Williams said, and the town would also have to pay for most of the $15 million in system improvements, though not in the three years Raleigh plans. “We would stretch it out.”
The contract changing ownership is not really satisfactory, but the Raleigh City Council insisted it follow the model for the Garner and Rolesville ownership transfers. “It’s the best you’re going to get, given who had most of the chips in this game,” Williams said.
“In another perfect world, Raleigh might be more reasonably minded than they are,” Jones said, “and voted to adopt a regional system. Instead they voted to be the big guy on the block.”
“Even the household is divided at this point,” Commissioner Velma Boyd-Lawson said, saying she had “nit-picked and tried to find reasons not to” agree to Raleigh’s ownership.
“I would want to have a system of our own, but I don’t think we can do it,” Commissioner Chris Malone said.
The water and sewer issue was very complex, Commissioner David Camacho said, and he has wrestled with it and listened to everyone. “There’s no question we could remain independent. There’s no question we have a good system.
“But I think that financially it is going to put a huge strain on the town,” Camacho said. “Water and sewer are not the only needs for this town.” Bond issues or borrowing to buy and refurbish the intake at the Neuse, build the water line to the reservoir and construct a 4-million-gallon treatment plant “would tie up such a huge amount of our revenue sources.
“In the end, for me,” Camacho said, “the financial reality is its going to strap us to the point where we wouldn’t be able to do anything else.”
The commissioners are contemplating a $14 million bond referendum this spring with $7 million slated for street projects (extending Franklin Street to Heritage, extending Friendship Chapel Road to Franklin and widening South Main from Rogers to Forbes Road) and parks at Heritage High School, Flaherty and Joyner as well as some for greenway construction. The $5- to $7-million new town hall would be paid for by savings and installment purchase.
The commissioners also said Raleigh’s ownership will give the town a part in any regional water solution.
“Raleigh, Wake County will go to Kerr Lake, and we’re going to be on the outside looking in,” Malone said. “It’s a much better situation to be on the inside. That was the trigger for me.”
Camacho said the entire Triangle will need more water soon. “We’d be much stronger as a united group than trying to get it for ourselves.”
Wake Forest customers will see little change for now. The target date for formal transfer of ownership is April 1, 2005, but Williams said that could change to July 1 if it takes longer than planned to transfer all the customer and system information.
After the transfer date, Wake Forest customers will continue to pay town water and sewer rates and fees for about seven years. During that time the difference between Wake Forest’s rates and fees and Raleigh’s will be accrued to pay off almost $19 million.
That is $15,071,160 in system upgrades and equipment with a 20 percent contingency, $3 million to purchase an additional 1 million gallons of water capacity and $710,000 to purchase 200,000 gallons of sewer capacity for the Richland Creek main that goes to Raleigh.
We will see additional fences. Raleigh plans to build fences around the sewer lift stations that the town had landscaped and planted. There will also be fencing erected around the water treatment plant and reservoir.
Wake Forest customers will continue to be billed for water and sewer monthly rather than Raleigh’s every other month billing. The town has agreed to pay the cost of that.
Raleigh plans to convert all water meters to an automatic reading system and begin to use cubic feet rather than gallons in its billing.
The contract must also be approved by the Raleigh City Council, probably when they meet Dec. 6.
Raleigh has already made water and sewer merger offers to Wendell, Knightdale and Zebulon.