$1.7 million sewer project complete

Conover's $1.7-million sewer project is complete.
During Tuesday's city council meeting, W.K. Dickson project manager Ryan Hager presented council members with details regarding the sewer project, which was funded through American Recovery Reinvestment Act.
Hager said 45,000 feet of sewer pipe was cleaned and repaired. The repairs include 112 point repairs, 1,325 feet of new sewer pipes, installed manholes and 5,964 feet of new cure-in-place pipe liner, to name a few upgrades.
"We prioritized the repairs with the ones with highest priority done first," Hager said.
Conover Public Works Director Jimmy Clark said 50 percent of the project was paid through a grant and the remaining 50 percent was funded to the city as a no-interest loan. Conover can pay its portion in 20 years at no interest.
Hager said the sewer project was well-needed; however, he said there are still improvements that need to be made in the city's sewer system.
"We used the city's GIS system to collect data (on the sewer)," Hager said. "The Public Works department has the GIS list of repairs needed."
Hager said the average life of a sewer system is 50 to 75 years, and in some city areas, the sewer line "exceeded this span."
"(The sewer system) is something you never catch up with," Clark said. "We can make the other repairs in the next two to three years, if we work hard, with our staff. Other repairs and replacements are taken care of in routine maintenance. This project enabled us to get caught up. I've been here for 26 years, and this is the first time we were able to do a project that is a rehabilitation project of this magnitude."
The sewer system project started in December 2009 and was finished in late-July.
In addition to presenting council with the sewer system update, Clark was authorized to apply for two grants totaling $1.1 million for water system improvement and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) improvement projects. The SCADA project grant is $350,000, and the water system improvement grant is $750,000.
Clark said Public Works will apply for the grants in the next 18 months as funding is available.

In other business
A portion of Fourth Street Place SE in Conover will be renamed to Conover Station SE after council unanimously approved the name change Tuesday.
The portion from First Avenue South to Second Avenue SE will be named Conover Station SE to allow branding with the Conover Station project under way.
Conover Planning Director Lance Hight checked with area business owners associated with Fourth Street Place SE, and he said no owners expressed a concern with the name change.
Hight plans to contact the postal service about the name change and work with residents who live on the street to ensure the process goes smoothly and no mail is missed during the transition.