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Greenviile making sewer upgrades

Interstate highways and critical infrastructure are the two key ingredients for economic growth in rural Southern communities, according to the recently released "State of the South" report.

The report, produced by a non-profit North Carolina research group, should bode well for Greenville, according to Gerald Johnson, superintendent of Greenville Water Works.

"Greenville has the interstate highway and the water works and sewer board has recognized that industry can't be attracted without water and sewer," Johnson said.

"We've stretched our limited resources to make it possible to bring new jobs to the city."

Two recent inquiries about Greenville as a place to relocate had the need to use and dispose of 1 million gallons of water a day, according to Johnson. One of those inquiries was from Westpoint Stevens, he said.

"With our confidence in a new well and extended transmission line, the Board's answer was unequivocal yes when Westpoint Stevens asked if we could provide a million gallons of water a day and accept the same on dye cast waste water," Johnson said.

The second inquiry did not materialize, according to Johnson.The industrial park being constructed on U.S. Highway 31 North will have access to the city's wastewater treatment plant, even though the park is not located in the city limit, according to Johnson.

"We're providing wastewater treatment for the industrial park in support of efforts to bring jobs to Butler County," said Johnson.

When Greenville High School was being constructed, the Water Works and Sewer Board extended sewer capacity to all areas west of the school that are in the city limits, including the Highway 10/Interstate 65 interchange, said Johnson.

"With sewer, this whole area is now primed for commercial and industrial development," said Johnson.

The board is also faced with another imperative project as sewer lines on the west side of Interstate 65 near capacity, said Johnson.

"This situation was prompted by the addition of 14 new businesses, a second golf course and 72 apartments constructed on the north side of Interstate 65 since Cambrian Ridge Golf Course opened in 1993," he said. "A new gravity sewer line, which will open land to commercial and industrial development north of the Greenville Bypass, is now under construction.

"The new line will also eliminate two more costly lift stations and relieve pressure on older, fragile sewer lines in the City."

The first phase of the line has been completed, from Ala. Highway 10 East to Airport Road. Preliminary work is underway on the second phase that will continue to New Searcy Road. The final phase will go from New Searcy Road to Ala. Highway 185 North.

"These large wastewater will play a major role in Greenville's future growth," said Johnson. "These gravity lines require minimum maintenance and eliminate eight costly lift stations, virtually half the lift station in the city's inventory.

"They also bypass the city's old wastewater infrastructure, which is in need of refurbishment. More importantly, due to cost savings on the new well and pipeline, there is no need for a rate increase to meet these growth requirements."