Water project ready to start

By Staff, 03/9/21 9:06 AM

ROSSTON – Everything, but the weather, is in place for a rural water project in Rosston.

Dale Quarles, Rosston mayor, told the Rosston City Council, at its March meeting Monday night, the materials are in place and will be locked up until construction starts. Construction is scheduled to begin on March 13, but this is a Saturday, and, rain is predicted.

Quarles talked about the ‘crisis’ members of the communities faced during the snow storm as water pipes burst, putting a strain on the system. He said the tanks were able to maintain enough water, but the spillage from burst pipes made it a challenge. He and the water superintendent spent two days going around the community shutting meters off. He told the council the city needs to do something to help residents as several could see exceedingly high water bills because of the broken pipes.

However, he continued, the community came together during the storm and it was good Rosston didn’t lose electricity.

The meter situation, he said, got out of control in the past and he’s trying to correct it now. This will be done with electronic meters being installed as part of the water project. He pointed out water bills will be different with the new meters as they are more accurate. Several of the old meters didn’t work or ran backwards, with the usage estimated. At this time, roughly 75 customers bills are being done manually because their meters don’t work properly.

Quarles asks residents to be patient as installing the meters will take time, as will getting their usage more accurate for billing purposes.

The city’s website is set up for online bill pay, he added, but this function won’t go live until the new meters are installed and bugs are worked out of the system. This, he continued, will also give customers time to adjust to the new billing. Once it goes live, the online bill pay will allow residents to pay their bills without going to city hall or having to mail them in. In addition, the website will have meter readings available so customers can monitor their water usage, should they choose.

In the February meeting, the council approved the purchase of a new truck for the city. However, Quarles said, the day the purchase was approved, the dealer sold the vehicle in question. He’s since met with the dealer and has him looking for a 4×4, as four-wheel drive is sometimes needed during severe weather. Quarles said the dealer is looking for one and once it’s found, the city will make the purchase.

He told the council about grants the city has received during his time in office since 2019. First, is the water project, $272,826, followed by a grant for a fire truck in the amount of $68,900, and street aid for $286,288, for a total of $628,014.

The street project will be for NC-17 and School Street, covering approximately two miles inside the city. This project is scheduled to begin in June.