City official: Expensive sewage component needs replacing

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By Gabby Burbary
The Williamston Post

City Manager Alan Dolley, Treasurer Rachel Piner, and City Council member Sean Bertolino discuss the need for a new lift station.

City Manager Alan Dolley, Treasurer Rachel Piner, and City Council member Sean Bertolino discuss the need for a new lift station.

A city engineer told City Council members Wednesday that a key part of the sewage system is unsafe and needs replacing.

Officials said during the budget work session that this lift system, which brings waste water from lower to higher elevation, must be addressed and the cost to do this will be hefty.

Lift stations are typically put where waste needs to be raised against gravity.

“Right now the workers are a little bit afraid to step on top of the steel structure on top of it because it could break,” said Scott DeVries, city engineer and director of public works.

 

“Right now the workers are a little bit afraid to step on top of the steel structure on top of it because it could break,” said Scott DeVries, city engineer and director of public works.

DeVries said at the meeting that they want to raise the lift station higher to also prevent electrical issues.

“We want to do this so that surface water doesn’t drain into it,” said DeVries.

DeVries said the lift station itself is more than 25 years old.

“The steel is rusting so the workers are being cautious that they don’t step on certain parts,” said DeVries. “The lift is probably still good for a while yet but we don’t want to push it.”

DeVries said at the meeting that the estimate to repair the lift station will be “six figures”, but city council member Tammy Gilroy asked for a more specific number.

“Sometimes when they are done they are done and you have to go and build a new one next to it and then we are talking a quarter of a million,” said DeVries.

Tammy Gilroy was then pleased to be aware of what the price of this project could amount to.

“It’s good to know that when you throw out six figures we can just store that away in our heads,” said Gilroy. “It’s the reality of it.”

“Within the next two years we are wanting to fix it,” said DeVries. “It will show up in the budget session next year.”

City council member Sean Bertolino, said because the conditions of the current lift are so bad that the workers are afraid to walk on it, it concerned him.

“We have to take care of the nuts and bolts of the city,” said Bertolino.

Bertolino said that it is important to be aware of these issues as a city council member.

City Council member Chad Munce said he has a positive outlook on this situation.

“It’s good that we are looking at spending some time and money repairing and expanding the life-span of this lift station,” said Munce.

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