$333 Million Needed For County Water And Sewer Improvements

Rapid growth is having a big impact on Johnston County water and wastewater facilities, according to a new report.

Last week, Johnston County Commissioner received an updated 20 Year Capital Improvement Plan from Chandra Cox Farmer, Director of the Johnston County Department of Public Utilities.  The proposal calls for facility improvements and additions, new facilities and major capital purchases for water distribution, wastewater collection, wastewater treatment and reclaimed water distribution through 2037.

Based on current projects those needs will cost $333,214,005 over the next 20 years.

The report calls for $144.6 million in improvements by 2021,  $64.6 million between 2022 and 2026, $78.5 million between 2027 and 2031, and $45.5 million between 2032 and 2037.

Farmer said the County would need to pursue outside funding as well as adjust charges to residential and business customers periodically to fund the projects without overburdening the customer base.

Johnston County Manager Rick Hester said 20 years ago commissioners agreed that water, wastewater and solid waste would be self-supporting and not subsidized by general tax dollars.  Hester said the 20 Year Plan is a roadmap for commissioners to see what major projects lie ahead and what improvements will be needed and how to pay for the infrastructure.

One of the more immediate needs is to expand the wastewater treatment capacity by an additional 4 million gallons per day. That is projected to cost up to $50 million.

Hester said the 20 Year Plan is required by most government agencies before approving loans and grants.