RALEIGH – The Local Government Commission (LGC) has approved a request by the Town of Clayton to seek an $80 million revolving loan provided by the State of North Carolina for a sewage treatment facility to accommodate rapid residential growth and industrial demands. But first the town and two major industrial users must reach agreement on protecting ratepayers should the industries’ usage demand — and payments — significantly decline from projections.
The LGC granted the conditional approval Tuesday, Sept. 14, following a $15 million loan approval late last year. The LGC is chaired by State Treasurer Dale R. Folwell, CPA, and staffed by the Department of State Treasurer (DST). The commission has a statutory duty to monitor the financial well-being of more than 1,100 local government units. The commission also examines whether the amount of money units borrow is adequate and reasonable for proposed projects, and confirms the governmental units can reasonably afford to repay the debt.
Clayton’s population has increased 79% from 16,116 in 2010 to 28,843 today. That growth, the burgeoning needs of industries such as Novo Nordisk and Grifols Therapeutics and the impending expiration of treatment agreements with Raleigh and Johnston County prompted the town to expand its wastewater treatment capacity. A new advanced biological treatment facility will replace the aging Little Creek facility. Together with other work the project cost is now estimated at $175 million.
Novo Nordisk is a Danish pharmaceutical manufacturer that produces medications to help control blood-sugar including an oral diabetes tablet. Grifols is a Spanish plasma-based therapy company. Both their production processes are water intensive. The new project will provide treatment capacity up to 6 million gallons a day, with the ability to expand to 10 million gallons daily.
Among other conditions, the loan approval requires those two industries to sign final contracts by Oct. 15 defining how to calculate their financial obligations. Those obligations must include protection to town ratepayers from excessive rate increases in the event the industries’ need for wastewater treatment decreases or is no longer needed. Under current plans, the average residential bill would increase from $88.49 to $114.44 in 2026.
Town of Garner
Also approved at the meeting was a request from the Town of Garner. They received approval to seek $69 million in general obligation bonds, of which $35.5 million would be used to acquire and construct new parks and greenways, and improve existing ones.
Spending on new streets, bike lanes and sidewalks would be part of another $24 million in spending, and $6.5 million would pay for construction and expansion of new and existing fire, police and emergency services facilities. Another $2.9 million would be spent on stormwater improvements.
A property tax rate increase of up to 2 cents per $100 in valuation might be required to fund the debt service.
Nash County received LGC approval for a plan to build a new detention center consisting of two housing units with a total of 94 beds.
The LGC approved $16 million in financing for the project, with no tax increase anticipated.
Town of Angier
The Town of Angier received authorization to refinance $6.1 million in water and sewer revenue bond debt.