Hobbs, Upchurch and Associates, P.E., was granted a contract to conduct an inflow-infiltration study of the current sewer lines in Ellerbe.
Mayor Olivia Webb said the study will be paid for by funds from the U.S. Rural Development Center and the town - about $40,000.
Adam Kiker of Hobbs, Upchurch and Associates said they would be administrators for the study.
If improvements to the Ellerbe system are necessary, he said the costs would be included in the final financing.
“The problem needs to be addressed,” he said. Otherwise Ellerbe would be paying Rockingham to process rainwater leaking into the system at wastewater rates.
The total cost of the sewer line from Ellerbe to Rockingham is estimated around $6 million, Mayor Webb said.
Grants are promised from the Golden LEAF Foundation, the Rural Center; with a loan-grant to be decided by the U.S. Department of Agriculture; and input from Ellerbe, Rockingham and Richmond County.
The main line is being designed as gravity fed from Ellerbe to Rockingham south of Ellerbe at a pump station to Rockingham’s pump station at Hitchcock Creek.
While the line will basically follow the route of U.S. 220, Kiker said plans with the N.C. Department of Transportation are not yet final.
Town Attorney Bill Webb Monday night reviewed with council a draft for an Interlocal Agreement between Ellerbe and Rockingham concerning the new sewer line and services to be provided.
Before submitting an agreement for approval, Webb wanted to seek council’s advice on issues such as the volume of wastewater expected, ownership of the line and the definition of the Ellerbe Sewer Service Area.
He will meet again with Rockingham officials to finalize the agreement before presenting it for council approval.
Ellerbe on TV
Lawn mower races at the Ellerbe Lions Club Park and other Ellerbe scenes will be featured at 9 p.m. Thursday on UNC-TV, Channel 4, Time Warner Cable.
Mayor Webb said Ellerbe would be a feature of the “N.C. Weekend” program. She hosted the camera crew on their visit to Ellerbe. During the races, she waved racers on.
The program will be repeated at 8 p.m. Friday.
Use Permit Sought
Jim Lane of Ellerbe Springs Inn is considering submitting a request for a Conditional Use Permit to allow him to raise alpaca animals on unused acres associated with the property.
Attorney Webb said the council would need a request written to specifically define the parameters of useage to make a decision on such a permit.
Lane said the raising of alpaca for commercial use and as a tourist attraction would put the land to its “best use.”
As the property is now, he said, they are paying taxes on unproductive land.
Webb said the term “farm” as requested was too broad for a permit under the town’s zoning ordinance.