GREENVILLE – Property owners along Wagner Avenue, north of Lowes, may need to wait another month before they will know if they will be paying for an expansion of the roadway. Greenville City Council had an opportunity to approve legislation on Tuesday, but two votes against giving the resolution a second and third reading caused the motion to fail. Council first learned of this project at their first meeting in June and held a special meeting with property owners at the end of June to discuss the details. It could be the first meeting in November before a vote on the actual Resolution of Necessity is considered for adoption by council. The Resolution of Necessity is needed in order to assess the cost to the property owners.
Council requires six votes in the affirmative to “suspend the rules and give the resolution a second and third reading by title only,” which would clear the way for a vote on the resolution. With Councilperson Dori Howdieshell absent, the motion needed all six council members present to vote “yes.” Voting against the motion were John Hensley and Clarence Godwin. Council will hear the second reading at its Oct. 15 meeting.
The city’s administration has sought and received a zero interest loan over 30 years to complete the north Wagner Avenue expansion project. Property owners that abut the roadway would pay for the project along their frontage and the city would pay for its portion around the city’s property (retention pond at the corner of Wagner Avenue and Children’s Home-Bradford Road). The city’s share is approximately 30 percent of the entire project cost estimated at $1.7 million. Property owners would pay the first 21 years of the loan and the city would pay the remaining nine years. Because this is a special assessment, property owners could not ask for a reduction.
The administration believes the city is being proactive with this project to complete the road at one time, unlike the East Russ Road project where the road was expanded each time a business was built. There are still portions of the road that have not been completed because properties have not been improved.
Once utilities are extended to the properties and the roadway expansion is complete, the properties would be considered shovel-ready.
Council also learned the reason for the need to invest $1.5 million into the wastewater treatment plant. They currently have four clarifiers that were installed between 1968 and 1971. Don Knife, wastewater superintendent, pointed out major repairs have already taken place on the clarifiers and sometimes the “seals weren’t right after they were rebuilt.” After 50 years in service, he believes it is time for them to be replaced in order to meet EPA requirements. The skimmers, scrapers, weirs and bridges were upgraded in 1987. They have also had their share of maintenance over the past 30 years.
According to Safety Service Director Curt Garrison, the city estimated the cost at $2 million, but the engineer’s estimate came in at $1.5 million. He also noted the engineer’s estimate is generally conservative. The money for the project has been set aside in the wastewater reserve. The project is expected to be completed by December 2020.