Meet the wastewater team

Published 11:11 am Wednesday, July 30, 2014

FRANKLIN—All interested residents are invited to an informational meeting to learn more about the Water and Wastewater System Consolidation Feasibility Project Planning Grant that Franklin and Southampton County are undertaking with funding through the Virginia Department of Housing and Community Development.

Ward 2 Councilor Benny Burgess, who serves on the management team, said he hopes people come out to learn about the project.

“One of the things I hear a lot of the time when the citizens are up at the podium speaking is that they don’t understand what’s going on,” he said. “This is the perfect opportunity to come here and find out what is going on. It’ll give you a chance to talk to us when we are standing around about what your concerns are and what your expectations are.”

Burgess said the management team would be there before and after the meeting.

Ward 3 Councilor Greg McLemore said he wouldn’t be able to attend, but that he hoped people would go and learn more about shared services. He also hoped that it would be recorded, so people not in attendance could pick up a video.

City Manager Randy Martin said they were evaluating the possibility of recording it, either through audio or video. Martin added that they were working on a special page on the website to put up more information.

The feasibility study will help the county and city in determining whether, and to what degree, shared utility services will improve efficiency, reduce costs and/or enhance economic competitiveness for both localities.

The primary objective of the Shared Services Utility Study is to compare the cost of providing water and wastewater service in the county and city under the following three scenarios:

• Non-shared services (status quo) – the current way, in which each locality continues to own, operate, and implement improvements to their own water and sewer systems; or

• Shared or contracted services – replacing the current way with one in which the localities either contract with one another for water and sewer services, or one in which they form a shared services department and share the costs thereof; or

• Regionalized scenario – replacing the current way with a regionalized entity with full responsibility for the county’s and the city’s water distribution, wastewater collection, conveyance, and treatment facilities.

At the meeting, the consulting firm selected by the Planning Grant Management Team, the Board of Supervisors and City Council will be introduced. The consulting team consists of the Timmons Group, Davenport and Associates and McGuire and Woods. They will discuss and answer questions concerning the proposed study.

The Franklin City Council and the Southampton County Board of Supervisors have been invited to attend to comment and ask questions at the meeting.

The meeting will be on Thursday, July 31, starting at 6 p.m. in the technology theater of the Regional Workforce Development Center at Paul D. Camp Community College, 100 N. College Drive, Franklin.