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County Readies Plan to Double Water Capacity

Lincoln County officials are taking a proactive approach to the area’s dwindling water supply. Commissioners approved plans Sept. 9 by W.K. Dickson to expand the county water plant to twice the current capacity. The expansion will cost about $2.2 million, and it will greatly increase the county’s security regarding a sufficient water supply. “It is felt that while the full expansion of the plant may not be necessary today, the time is fast approaching, and it would be prudent to have the expansion plans approved and ready,” Steve Gilbert, county director of public utilities, told the board. On Aug. 5, the board approved a professional services contract with W.K. Dickson to prepare construction plans and contract documents for a third filter at the water treatment plant. The construction of that filter was recommended by the N.C. Department of Environment and Natural Resources during a plant inspection last winter. The filter is necessary so other filters can be taken off line while the filter media is replaced. After that, it will be used as a backup filter. At a water meeting Aug. 28, a recommendation was made to proceed with the rest of the design necessary to expand the water plant. The design plans will cost $124,200 and the construction phase administration will cost $15,000. Complete plans should be drawn up in about four to six months, Gilbert said. Construction should take about a year, so the plant expansion should be completed in about a year and a half