In an effort to further develop western Pender County, authorities are looking for the best engineer to design a sewer extension project along the US 421 Corridor.
Kenneth Keel, director of utilities, made a presentation to Pender’s board of commissioners at a meeting Monday on the need stretching from Pender Commerce Park to Blueberry Road. One of the things that makes building difficult in the area is the lack of sewer service.
“From previous discussions with the board, I know the board has expressed interest in trying to help develop it in the western part of the county,” Keel said. “We are not growing as fast as the eastern part. One way to do this is to expand the sewers to more places in the western part of the county. “
According to the 2020 US Census, most of the population growth has occurred in the eastern region of the county, such as Hampstead, Surf City, and Topsail Beach.
Towns in western Pender County, such as Burgaw and Canetuck, declined. With improved infrastructure, Pender County leaders are hoping to see boos. It could also attract more developers.
“A landowner along Blueberry Road has also shown some interest in starting predominantly residential development in the area, but the lack of public sewers is a major obstacle,” officials said in the presentation.
To begin with, a Request for Qualification (RFQ) will be sent for professional engineering services for the installation of a sewage pump station near the intersection of Blueberry Road and US 421. Construction of a discharge line from the station to the existing sewage treatment plant near Pender Commerce Park, just off the southern border of Pender County. The length of the proposed main is 5 miles within the US 421 right-of-way.
“This plant currently only serves Pender Commerce Park, but Pender County wants to expand its service area to encourage development along US Corridor 421,” officials said.
The request to go ahead with the RFQ was unanimously approved by the members of the board of directors. The officials would like to bring a contract back to the board of directors in early December. The cost of the project is currently unknown, but Keel said staff will initiate the research process through publicity, appraisal and negotiations.
Journalist Chase Jordan can be contacted at [email protected]