ST. PAULS — Water was the main topic during Wednesday’s meeting of the St. Pauls Board of Commissioners.
The water price, the possibility of flooding and water quality in some apartments in St. Pauls were all concerns for the commissioners, who met Wednesday instead of Thursday because of the threat of Hurricane Florence
Local resident Patricia Wright asked why her water bill keeps climbing. Commissioner Evans Jackson said it was to meet the town’s financial needs, and that the town water prices are actually below the regional average.
“Before we can apply for a grant our enterprise fund must show a profit. We’ve had 15 years of showing a loss. We can’t do improvements without it,” Jackson said.
Several methods of paying for town water have been tried in the past, including increasing property taxes, he said.
“But renters don’t pay property taxes,” Jackson said. “This makes it fair.”
Residents of one apartment community say they are dealing with bad-tasting, cloudy water, and they are blaming the town. But the commissioners explained that the water is coming from the Robeson County system. Commissioner Jerry Quick requested that a water sample be tested.
Resident Alisa Baxley is worried about Florence, specifically flooding near her mother’s home.
“When they put in all the stuff on I-95, it started diverting water to that neighborhood,” Baxley said. “I’m afraid the flood will happen again. My mother paid over $30,000 to fix her home out of her retirement, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency said they couldn’t help her because she’d already fixed it. She can’t do it again. They eventually gave her $4,000.”
Baxley said she wrote a letter to the governor and was told the issue would be investigated and the Department of Transportation was aware of the issue.
“Nothing has been done yet,” Baxley said. “When I started to complain, they sent a surveyor.”
Public Works Director Danny Holloman said his department was preparing for potential flooding. The department has on hand new generators, 500 gallons of fuel at the shop, and has filled 700 sandbags.
“I’ve got saws ready,” Holloman said, “and the trucks are gassed up and ready.”
In other business, the commissioners;
— Were told the Public Works and the Fire departments received $9,999.99 from Valley Proteins for cleanup costs after a chicken truck overturned at the I-95 exit in June.
— Established the town board room as the command center for the hurricane response operations.
— Swore in Tina Odom as St. Paul’s new Zoning administrator.
Reach David Bradley at 910-416-5182 or [email protected]